Bayern end partnership with Qatar Airways

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Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich say they have ended a partnership with Qatar Airways which was deemed controversial by many of their fans.

The airline had been one of the club's major sponsors since 2018, but the contract will end "by mutual agreement" on June 30, Bayern said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Bayern and Qatar Airways have worked together successfully and learned from each other. I would like to thank Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, for this," Bayer CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen said.

It's unclear whether Bayern will sign with a new sponsor to replace the airline. Qatar was considered a "platinum partner." Above this group are only main partners and shareholders telecommunications company Telekom, sports apparel company Adidas and carmaker Audi.

Bayern fans have for years slammed the club's partnership with Qatar, a country widely criticized for its human rights situation and its handling of the LGBTQ+ community, among other things.

During games, it was common to see signs in the stands protesting against the partnership with Qatar Airlines, while fan groups have already held several lectures to talk about the situation in the Middle East country.

In 2021, the club's annual general meeting turned into a chaotic event after a fan tried to introduce a spontaneous motion to put the sponsorship deal to a vote. This was not allowed by the executive committee, which was then sharply criticized by the Bayern member.

Qatar was recently under the spotlight as it hosted the 2022 World Cup.

A group of nations, including Germany, were planning to wear an multi-coloured captain's armband in support for diversity and equality but backed down after football governing body FIFA threatened sanctions.

  •  Bayern
  •  Qatar Airways
  •  Partnership


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