Bayern Munich have revealed that they have opted not to renew their controversial sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways.
Qatar Airways had been in contractual agreement with Bayern Munich since 2018, but the team revealed the deal, worth an estimated £21m a year, would come to an end on the 30th of June 2023.
The agreement involving the German giants and the state-backed airline was halted due to human rights concerns in the Gulf country.
Via a joint statement, both parties stated that the contract would culminate “by mutual agreement” on the 30th of June after a five-year partnership.
The statement reads: “The connections that FC Bayern has been able to forge with its fans in the Arab world through Qatar Airways will remain”.
Bayern Munich’s new Chief Executive Officer Jan-Christian Dreesen expressed that his team and Qatar Airways “have worked together successfully and learned from each other”.
He also sent his gratitude to Qatar Airways CEO, Akbar Al Baker and he wished the company stakeholders “all the best for the future”.
Jan-Christian Dreesen said: “I would like to thank Akbar Al Baker, CEO of Qatar Airways, for this. We wish all Employees of Qatar Airways all the best for the future.”
The CEO of Qatar Airways, Akbar Al Baker, sent good wishes to the Bavarian giants as his organization is set to cut the ties between them.
Akbar Al Baker also revealed that Bayern Munich is a football team they have followed heartily.
He said: “FC Bayern is a great football club whose games we have followed with joy and passion.”
Qatar Airways didn’t want to continue the sponsorship arrangement after the World Cup in Qatar.
Reports indicate that Qatar Airways had been unwilling to further their sponsorship of Bayern on the same financial terms after the World Cup in December.
Germany’s status in Qatar took a massive blow due to the discreditable remonstration from the national team during the competition.
German players covered their mouths in nonviolent remonstration indicating that they had been stifled by FIFA.
It came after the football governing body cautioned seven countries that they could be punished if they wore rainbow armbands.
Bayern Munich board members met with Qatari delegates in July 2022, five months prior to the commencement of the World Cup, to discuss human rights issues.
Supporters of the Munich based club have frequently hoisted and brandished anti-Qatar and anti-sportswashing banners and slogans in the crowd during home games at the Allianz Arena.
Bayern Munich’s annual general meeting in 2021 descended into a chaos with boos and chants calling for the connection with the Gulf state to be discontinued.
Bayern Munich board members voted for the club to end sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways
During the meeting, 77.8% of board members voted in support of a move to cut off the club’s association with Qatar Airways.
However, the then board which consisted of legendary former goalie and ex-CEO Oliver Kahn, turned down the request and it resulted in a heated disagreement between club officials and fans.
Fans who were present at the meeting chanted “we are Bayern, you are not” and they recommended that Chairman Herbert Hainer resign.
Bayern Munich’s former president Uli Hoeness following the meeting said that the incident was “the worst event” he has “ever seen at FC Bayern. I am ashamed”.