The Human Rights Watch organization has welcomed the end of the partnership between Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Qatar Airways, deemed controversial by many football fans.
“This is a good sign. Through its sponsorship, Bayern Munich have advertised a Qatari state-owned company. In a way, the club has made friends with a state that fails to take human rights into consideration,” Human Rights Watch Germany director Wenzel Michalski told dpa on Thursday.
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 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.
“This shows that fans can assert themselves and that it’s possible for club leaders to rethink their position,” Michalski said.
He criticized, however, that in the statement announcing the end of the partnership, Bayern praised the cooperation with Qatar, while “it would have been much better if they had openly and honestly said that they heard the criticism.”
With this stance, Bayern was “creating themselves a loophole to make again partnership with a state that disregards human rights, which shouldn’t be the case.”
“Those who make a deal and encourages who actively participate in the dismantling civil rights and liberties around the world, just because you have your eye on the money are harming themselves in the long run and, above all, society,” Michalski said.
Courtesy of dpa