Bayern end Qatar Airways deal amid fan outcry

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich will not renew a much-criticised sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways after it expires at the end of June, it was announced on Wednesday.

The club said the deal would end by mutual consent after five years and that the “connections forged with fans in the Arab world through Qatar Airways would remain.”

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Bayern have drawn criticism over the sponsorship with fans angry about doing a deal with a country facing allegations of human rights violations, including over LGBT rights and its treatment of migrant workers.

Concerns were highlighted during last year’s World Cup, hosted by Qatar.

Qatari authorities have previously described criticism of their country as unfair and misinformed, pointing to labour law reforms enacted since 2018 and accusing some critics of racism and double standards.

“Both partners have actively promoted an exchange between cultures,” the club said in a statement.

“It has always been the goal of FC Bayern and Qatar Airways to connect people through football, including women’s football. Trusting, open exchanges have created friendships that will continue,” they added.

Akbar Al Baker, CEO Qatar Airways said the company had enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Bayern Munich for years.

“We wish the team all the best for the future,” he added.

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