Ever since signing a deal with Qatar Airways, Bayern Munich has been heavily criticised by the fans. The matchday fans have been vocal about their opposition to this deal since Qatar has been repeatedly accused of violating human rights.
Before the international break, the Bavarian faithful had a big banner at Allianz Arena, which criticised the club’s continued association with Qatar Airways. Apart from working with Qatar Airways, the club’s former CEO- Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, has consistently defended cooperation with Qatar Airways. Rummenigge has left his role at Die Roten, so Herbert Hainer and Oliver Kahn are at the receiving end from the fans.
The current deal with Qatar Airways is set to expire in 2023. Rekordmeister’s business model heavily relies on the sponsorship deals, but ethically, the deal with Qatar Airways doesn’t sit well with Bayern fans across the globe.
Apart from fans, players in the current squad also have concerns about the club’s associations with Qatar Airways. According to Bild (via iMiaSanMia), several players would like the club to not work with the Airlines beyond the current deal.
The stand from players might force the board to decide against extending the renewal with Qatar Airways. If the club hierarchy does listen to players, then it will be a monumental decision. The impact of refusal to work with a Qatar-based brand from one of the leading European clubs due to the violation of human rights in the country will send a strong message.
From a fan’s point of view, it is good to see that players from the current squad are ready to take a stand. Many players in the Bayern squad have done a lot of incredible social work during the pandemic. Their stance against the club regarding a controversial deal further enhances the belief that the current group at Die Roten are amazing players and humans.
A public statement from players regarding this deal may make things awkward between them and the club. However, it will send a very strong statement. It could also encourage other pros to speak about next year’s World Cup in Qatar.
Next year’s World Cup in Qatar is already receiving a lot of criticism. Players from various countries have already taken a stand against FIFA’s decision to stage the marquee event in Qatar. It remains to be seen whether FAs of countries that play in the event allow them to speak openly about the human rights situation in Qatar.