Bayern Munich club members decide to end Qatar Airways sponsorship at general meeting
A motion initiated by Bayern Munich club member Michael Ott has gained popularity and attention ahead of the club’s next annual general meeting on November 25: Ott filed a motion that would force Bayern to authorize its sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways (2016 / 17-2022 / 23) expire and ban the club from entering into further sponsorship deals with companies the majority of which are owned by the Qatari Emirate.
The motion, which can be viewed online at http://katar-antrag.de/, reads as follows:
That the assembly of members decide:
FC Bayern Munich eV [registered club], by exercising all necessary legal and factual channels at its disposal, influences FC Bayern Munich AG [corporation] to the effect that sponsorship contracts with Qatar Airways or other companies majority-owned by the Emirate of Qatar are allowed to expire and not extended or concluded de novo.
[Editor: FC Bayern e.V. is the overarching club, which is majority owner of FC Bayern AG, the corporation that comprises the original soccer branch of the club. The annual general assembly includes the entire FC Bayern, from the chess team to the soccer team.]
Ott sets out the rationale for the measure in five detailed points. He told Bild: “We want to take preventative measures to prevent a new contract.”
The main reason is Qatar’s history of human rights violations. Ott explains: “Qatar Airways is 100% owned by the Emirate of Qatar. This country is the scene of massive human rights violations, and there are also serious accusations of corruption in sport. Instead of making changes, FC Bayern are actively helping the Emirate of Qatar with its sponsorship to distract from these evils. ”
With such “indifference”, says Ott, FC Bayern is damaging its own reputation and “falling short of its status as an exemplary model”.
The motion would not, however, prevent Bayern from attending their annual training camp at Aspire Academy in Doha, Qatar. Ott said the event offers “a critical communication opportunity, at least in theory.”
I have commented on Bayern Munich’s relationship with Qatar Airways on several occasions over the years. Bayern first visited Qatar in 2011, shortly after Qatar made their controversial, and ultimately successful, bid to host the 2022 World Cup. Qatar’s Hamad International Airport is became a “platinum sponsor” of the club in 2016, leading to the infamous sponsorship of Qatar Airways. in 2017.
Recently, the Qatar controversy has been overshadowed by other themes, including the indignant response of Bayern management to the insults leveled by its ultras against TSG Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp, who arguably followed, arguably. late, engagement with the Black Lives Matter movement, and especially the coronavirus pandemic. .
Even though the club still find themselves navigating difficult waters when it comes to COVID-19 and vaccination, the subject of Qatar has not gone away. As the 2022 World Cup looms on the horizon, despite the logistical nightmare that a winter World Cup will create and the ongoing corruption allegations in the award process, the theme will remain relevant.
Bayern Munich management will have to listen to what club members think of the deal at the next general meeting on November 25.