The club has a sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways of € 20 million, but some members believe that they should not accept money from a state accused of not respecting human rights.
Bayern Munich’s annual meeting ended this Thursday with scenes of tension after discussing the renewal of the club’s sponsorship with Qatar Airways, in a meeting between shouts and chants against the president of the entity, Herbert Hainer. Some 800 fans chanted ‘Hainer out’ while expressing their discontent with the president and chants of ‘We are Bayern and you are not’ and ‘We are the fans you do not want’ were also heard.
“The worst incident I have seen in the history of Bayern.” Uli Hoeneß, honorary president of the club, was very disappointed by the chaos experienced due to the shouts of the fans opposing the sponsorship deal with Qatar. “I’m embarrassed,” Hoeness added after the convention, which lasted five hours on the night of Thursday through Friday.
Tension has grown in recent days between the leaders of the Bavarian giant and a group of partners who ask to resign from a € 20 million sponsorship contract with Qatar Airways ($ 22.5 million). They consider that the moral and humanistic values of the club do not allow accepting money of a society that belongs to a state accused of violating human rights.
Exploitation of foreign workers
The initiative of the fans has a special meaning, with less than a year left until the Qatar 2022 World Cup begins, between November and December. The promoters rely on reports from organizations that accuse Qatar of exploiting foreign workers, mainly in the construction of stadiums for the next World Cup. They also reproach Doha for its law that prohibits homosexuality.
Faced with the controversy, the Bayern leaders use a widely used but disputed argument: have more means, they explain, to influence the human rights situation of a State with the presence thererather than resorting to a boycott. “I remain convinced that dialogue is the best way to bring people closer,” Hainer told the assembly, adding that the club has not made a decision on extending the contract.
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