FC Bayern Munich and the training camp in Qatar: Towards the place of the debates

After a two-year break due to Corona, FC Bayern is traveling to Qatar again this year for a winter training camp. The tour group comes along with ongoing debates over the partnership between the club and the emirate.

For a number of FC Bayern Munich players, there is currently hardly a more unpleasant place for a training camp than Qatar. During the World Cup which has just ended there, some failed embarrassingly in the group stage, others bitterly in the final. Above all, the German and French national players of FC Bayern must find the place of the big defeats from January 6 to 12.

The Munich team have been traveling to Doha in the winter since 2011, only in the past two years have training camps been canceled due to the corona pandemic. Since 2018 there has also been a sponsorship agreement with the airline Qatar Airways. Cooperation between Qatar and FC Bayern has always been accompanied by protests from active fans, due to human rights violations and other abuses in the emirate.

Perhaps there will soon be cause for joy among the fans: like them sports photography reported in December, Qatar Airways intends to extend the contract, which expires in 2023, at most on lower terms – if at all. In the background, the debates over the “One Love” armband during the World Cup and the word of mouth of the German national team before the opening match of the World Cup against Japan. Many of them are under contract with FC Bayern and are therefore also potential advertisers for Qatar Airways in view of the partnership.

President Herbert Hainer pointed out before the World Cup that discussions about possible further cooperation would only take place afterwards – negotiations at the next training camp are conceivable. According to sports photography Models are also mentioned in which FC Bayern donates part of the income to aid organisations. The club currently receives €25m from Qatar Airways every year.

FC Bayern: criticism of the appearance of Uli Hoeneß

“I would prefer Bayern to take this step. But in the end, it’s about ending sponsorship. How and by whom is secondary,” says Alexander Salzweger. SPOX and OBJECTIVES. He is the spokesperson for Club No. 12, the association of active Bayern supporters. “I imagine that Qatar is no longer interested in a club like Bayern. There are discussions all the time, they have to send representatives to the round tables and are attacked at each general meeting: they don’t think it’s cool .”

At the penultimate annual general meeting in the fall of 2021, talks about Qatar’s sponsorship ended in outrage. The event was canceled, there was an uproar and cries of “Hainer out”. However, FC Bayern officials then tried to approach the fans. “One mistake was that we didn’t talk enough with the critical members to listen to their motivations,” Hainer said. In the summer, FC Bayern organized a round table with representatives of the emirate and members, then published the answers to a questionnaire.

According to Salzweger, at the 2022 fall general meeting, “the question of Qatar was well handled. You may have different opinions, but you must be able to have meaningful discussions. This time everyone has it. fact – except the honorary president.” Uli Hoeneß challenged Michael Ott, a member of the club with a critical attitude towards Qatar, as he left the event: “It’s the Bayern Munich football club and not the General Assembly of Amnesty International!”

“Hoeneß’s performance against Mr. Ott was impossible,” says Salzweger. “Making fun of someone when leaving the room, not even waiting for an answer and leaving: it’s not possible. I can’t imagine the current rulers wanted those photos.

Alexander Salzweger: ‘Criticism of Qatar has increased’

Although this performance should not have played into the hands of the management, according to Salzweger, the scheduling of the event before the tournament in Qatar did: “Bavaria can be happy that the GA took place before The World Cup. The World Cup has drawn criticism of Qatar. Only got bigger on the fans’ side. Everyone saw the abuses there, like the manipulation of rainbow flags. Defending sponsorship is now even more difficult than before.

After the AGM, active FC Bayern fans agreed to passively follow the tournament and its circumstances and wait and see. “But I can imagine that we will soon be campaigning again about Qatar,” Salzweger said. Like many other active FC Bayern fans, he himself has not watched any World Cup matches.

He is now amazed that he won’t have to boycott another game in the emirate next week – this time from his favorite club. “One of the arguments for a training camp in Qatar was that there were a lot of friendly opponents there,” Salzweger says. “Now the team has been here for a week – and the first test match will probably take place in freezing temperatures in Munich the day after we return. It’s really weird.” On January 13, FC Bayern meets RB Salzburg on campus, on the 20th the second half of the season begins at RB Leipzig.

FC Bayern Munich: the first FCB matches in 2023

Date time competition Opponent
January 13 6 p.m. test match RB Salzburg
January 20 8:30 p.m. Bundesliga RB Leipzig (A)
January 24 8:30 p.m. Bundesliga 1. FC Köln (M)
January 28 6:30 p.m. Bundesliga Eintracht Frankfurt (H)

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