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South Korean soccer club apologizes for using sex dolls as fan replacements

South Korean professional football club FC Seoul has issued an apology over using sex dolls to replace live fans during a recent match.

With arenas across the world not allowing fans to attend events amid the coronavirus pandemic, sports organizations are looking for ways, however unorthodox, to partly replicate a quasi-typical gameday environment. These efforts have included teams utilizing cardboard cutouts of fans and other artificial means to at least simulate normalcy for those viewing the games on television.

It goes without saying that FC Seoul wildly missed the mark when the club mistakenly dressed up sex dolls as team fans for a 1-0 victory over Gwangju FC at Seoul World Cup Stadium on May 17.

Thirty “premium mannequins,” primarily female and wearing FC Seoul jerseys, were utilized during the match, and it was “so obvious” that they were sex dolls to some fans watching the telecast, per a Forbes report.

Making matters worse, the signs some of the mannequins were holding up appeared to be promotions for streaming sites that feature adult content.

Amid an ongoing disagreement between the club and Dalkom, the company that provided the mannequins, over how such a misunderstanding could occur, Seoul FC has issued a formal apology, indicating the manufacturer stated the mannequins were not in fact sex dolls.

“We would like to apologise to the fans,” the club said in a statement released on social media, as shared by John Duerden of ESPN.

“We are very sorry about the supporting mannequins that were placed during the game on May 17. These mannequins may have been made to look and feel like real humans but they are not for sexual use — as confirmed by the manufacturer from the beginning.”

The statement went on to indicate the club’s “intention was to do something lighthearted in these difficult times.”

South Korea’s K League resumed on May 8, making it one of the first leagues to do so amid the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.