Round table on Qatar: At FC Bayern, they discussed red lines

FC Bayern Munich is economically linked to the Emirate of Qatar, and the Bundesliga club is paying dearly for the partnership.

Round table on Qatar: At FC Bayern, they discussed red lines

FC Bayern Munich is economically linked to the Emirate of Qatar, and the Bundesliga club is paying dearly for the partnership. The arrangement with the controversial desert state continues to cause trouble and discussions in the club.

CEO Oliver Kahn praised FC Bayern Munich's round table on the controversial issue of Qatar as revealing. On Monday evening in the Allianz Arena, the former international goalkeeper also thanked club members Michael Ott and Robin Feinauer, who were critical of Qatar, and said they played an "important part" in meeting each other "in a spirit of respectful interaction". With the event, Kahn explained, they wanted to show "that you can sit down at a table, regardless of different opinions and different attitudes, meet, listen and exchange ideas."

The chief organizer of the 2022 World Cup, Hassan Al-Thawadi, also took part in the two-hour discussion, in which FC Bayern's Qatar sponsorship was also a topic. FC Bayern has a sponsorship contract with Qatar Airways that runs until 2023. However, the business relationship with Qatar is a hot topic in the club's fan scene because of the controversial human rights situation in the host country of the 2022 World Cup and the working conditions on the World Cup construction sites.

Bayern member Ott had wanted to submit a spontaneous application at the turbulent annual general meeting of FC Bayern in autumn 2021 to have the sponsorship voted on with the airline. The presidency did not allow it. Ott then sharply criticized the behavior of the FCB leadership.

"Actively promoting Qatar, I think that's the wrong way," said Ott, criticizing an allegedly "one-sided brand message from Qatar" and citing, among other things, the widely criticized human rights situation in the country. "If there is no red line for an advertising partnership with Qatar, where are there still red lines for FC Bayern?" Together with member Feinauer, he presented the Bavarian leadership with a list of questions on the sensitive issue. Qatar has been repeatedly criticized for systematic human rights violations and the exploitation of migrants. The government of the wealthy emirate has denied the allegations and is leading reforms in favor of foreign workers.

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