FC Bayern Munich Ends Partnership with Qatar Airways
FC Bayern Munich has announced that it will terminate its controversial partnership with airline Qatar Airways. The sponsorship contract will not be renewed, according to the German football record champions.
Bayern Munich will not extend its expiring contract with Qatar Airways, a sponsor that has been a subject of controversy among some fans. The German football record champions announced this on Wednesday. The collaboration will end "amicably after five exciting years," as stated in a club statement. This news was previously reported by "Münchner Merkur/tz" and "Bild."
The partnership has been in place since 2018 and was reported to have brought Bayern 25 million euros per season. It will expire on June 30.
"FC Bayern Munich and Qatar Airways have worked successfully together and learned from each other," said CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen, expressing gratitude to Akbar Al-Baker, the CEO of Qatar Airways. Al-Baker described it as a "fruitful collaboration over the years. FC Bayern Munich is a great football club, and we have watched their matches with joy and passion."
The Munich club stated that their connections to the Arab world "will remain," adding, "Both partners have actively promoted cultural exchange." As a result, friendships have been formed that will also "continue to exist."
FC Bayern and Qatar Airways: Strong Criticism of the Partnership
The active fan scene has been critical of the connection from the beginning due to the human rights situation in the host country of the 2022 World Cup. In 2021, this led to a controversy at Bayern's annual general meeting.
The decision to end the partnership comes as a surprise. Just two weeks ago, President Herbert Hainer reported discussions about an extension. "Besides financial and legal aspects, we also consider social aspects," he said, announcing, "We are in talks with Qatar Airways, and then we'll see what comes out of it."
The identity of the future sponsor to appear on Bayern's jersey sleeve has apparently not been finalized yet. The responsible individuals, including Dreesen, are currently in discussions with potential sponsors.