MUNICH: German champions Bayern Munich have contracted with Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar as their 10th platinum partner – and provoked controversy at home and abroad for securing another close Qatari link writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
The deal, described by the Bundesliga club as ‘long-term’, will see the airport advertise at Munich’s Allianz Arena on match days.

Financial terms have not been released but the deal, signed during Bayern’s recent winter training camp in Qatar, is likely to be worth a seven-figure sum annually.

Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, whose leaderhip of the European Club Association is becoming increasingly controversial in all the circumstances, said: “I am pleased to welcome Doha airport as a sponsor from the tourism industry. This partnership is a further step in our international strategy.”

Rummenigge added that the two parties “will together promote social projects and a dialogue over critical socio-political issues.”

Doha Airport, which opened in 2014, processes 30m passengers a year, making it one of the Middle East’s primary transport hubs but Qatar remains under fire for its human rights record, treatment of migrant workers and the slow pace of change.

Bayern have travelled to Qatar for their annual winter training camp every year since 2011, though Rummenigge has insisted “a training camp is not a political statement”.