Bayern Munich

Bayern Munich fans call for end to club's Qatar Airways sponsorship

Tom Gott
Bayern Munich are sponsored by Qatar Airways
Bayern Munich are sponsored by Qatar Airways / Alexander Hassenstein/GettyImages

A group of Bayern Munich supporters have called for the club to allow their sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways to expire at the end of the season in protest of the country's human rights violations.

Bayern's official airline partner, Qatar Airways is owned by the country's government, which has been accused of a number of human rights breaches including several avoidable deaths in the preparations for the 2022 World Cup.

The deal between the two is set to expire at the end of the campaign, and at Bayern's general meeting next month, a supporters' group intend to plead for the sponsorship to be ended as soon as possible.

“Dear Bayern members, at the annual general meeting on November 25th, 2021, we want to oblige our association not to continue the sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways, as it is incompatible with the values ​​of our association. We call on all members to deal with the issue and to make use of their voting rights!" the man behind the motion, Michael Ott, wrote.

"Qatar Airways is 100% owned by the Emirate of Qatar. This country stands for massive human rights violations, there are also serious allegations of corruption in sport. Instead of bringing about changes, FC Bayern is actively helping the Emirate of Qatar by sponsoring it to distract attention from the grievances.

"If FC Bayern remains silent on the situation in Qatar, our club is expressing its indifference. With this, FC Bayern is damaging its reputation and not living up to its role model."

When asked to explain his movement, Ott told Bild: “We want to take preventative measures to prevent a new contract.”

With the Bundesliga's 50+1 rule, which is designed to ensure every club remains majority owned by supporters, fans do have the chance to rule on these kinds of dealings and Ott hopes to see all club members stand united against Qatar.

“It must be admitted that FC Bayern is not the only football club sponsored by Qatar; our Champions League final opponents last season are even owned by Qatar [Paris Saint-Germain]. Other states with similar human rights records also sponsor numerous football clubs," Ott continued.

“But FC Bayern is not a club like any other. FC Bayern has always been unique and has always been a pioneer, in every respect. We must continue to be so. Let’s not go with the flow, but set a clear example for human rights. This sets us apart once again from the bulk of Europe’s top clubs.

“We are rightly proud of the fact that we have earned our success through hard work. No other top club in Europe can claim that anymore these days! But the Qatar sponsorship brings this achievement into disrepute; we have not worked by fair means here. The money from such a deal is something to be ashamed of. The reputation of our club is being massively damaged. This must be corrected urgently so that we can still be proud of the achievements of our FC Bayern in the future.”