As professional sports leagues around the world have begun to resume operation, many teams have found creative ways to fill the empty seats.
A German soccer league and Taiwanese professional baseball have scattered cardboard cutouts of supporters in the search for a sense of support as social distancing guidelines prevent fans from attending matches in person, but South Korean soccer team FC Seoul opted for something a little more lifelike - much to the dismay of fans.
The club F.C. Seoul apologized on Monday after placing what it believed were ordinary mannequins in the stands for a match against Gwangju F.C., but which were quickly recognized by many fans as sex dolls.
“We apologize to all the fans for causing deep concern regarding the cheer-mannequins set up during the game on the 17th. Although the mannequins differed from previous ones in that the material is human-like, from the start we confirmed that these products were not adult goods,” posted FC Seoul.
The signs the dolls held up showed messages of support for the team as well as logos of Dalkom, the company that supplied the dolls.
The signs also included the names of the broadcast jockeys the dolls were molded after. Broadcast jockeys, commonly known as BJ's, are similar to cam girls - receiving monetary gifts from fans as they live stream themselves eating, hosting live-talk sessions, and sometimes sexually suggestive acts.
“(The company’s) name and signs with the specific BJs’ names were shown. This is due to our officials not checking in detail. This part is completely our fault,” FC Seoul said in the apology.
Fan criticism only increased as Dalkom was found to sell sex dolls.
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