The ongoing World Cup 2022 in Qatar has been under intense scrutiny for the Gulf country’s record with human rights. Moreover, FIFA’s decision to ban rainbow armbands for teams created significant controversy. Bayern Munich has also had its fair share of controversy related to Qatar. The German club’s deal with Qatar Airways has been under immense scrutiny from fans.
The Bavarian faithful has consistently protested Die Roten’s deal with Qatar Airways. Meanwhile, one report in Germany has suggested that Bayern players would also like to see the club end this commercial deal. Die Roten’s deal with Qatar Airways is set to expire in 2023.
Earlier this year, Bayern chiefs had invited fans to discuss their concerns regarding the deal with Qatar Airways. Apart from fans, Die Roten also had talks with human rights organisations to know their concerns related to this deal.
After having several discussions with different parties, Bayern Munich will have to make a decision sooner rather than later. While talking to Sky Sports this week (via iMiaSanMia), Bayern CEO Oliver Kahn admitted that more talks are planned with Qatar Airways after the World Cup before the club makes a final decision.
"“Everything is focused on the World Cup at the moment. Afterwards we will sit down and discuss with our partners in calm. It is very important for us to remain in dialogue and to initiate certain things. We will discuss all this and then come to a decision.”"
It was a hypocritic approach from Bayern to indulge in this deal in the first place since the previous club chiefs have consistently criticised the state-backed clubs. Uli Hoeness has been particularly critical of state-owned clubs such as Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City.
In an ideal scenario, Bayern brings an end to this cooperation. Contract renewal will lead to outrage amongst fans, and more protests against the deal could take place at Allianz Arena. Moreover, having a controversial topic in the media leads to distraction for the first team.
Considering the commercial reach and growth of Bayern, they can definitely attract other less controversial sponsors. The deal with Qatar Airways will definitely be difficult to turn down for Die Roten since it will financially benefit the club. It will be intriguing to see if Die Roten goes with their business conviction or take a decision that will convince fans that they can have a say in the club’s deals.
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The current Bayern chiefs have acted perfectly to the outrage from fans. Inviting fans and human rights organisations to know their opinion. The next step would be to act rightly and call off this cooperation with Qatar Airways. The next couple of months may give a clear picture about the future of this controversial deal with Bayern.