Several weeks ago, Bayern Munich member and fan Michael Ott submitted an application to move the club to put an end to the controversial Qatar sponsorship. Now, as the date of the annual general meeting nears, Mr. Ott believes that the club is engaging in “delaying tactics” to prevent the motion from being put to a vote.
“FC Bayern knows exactly that the application is admissible, but does not react and allows deadlines to pass,” wrote the concerned member on Twitter (via kicker). “Now we have to sue as soon as possible to force the vote.”
Mr. Ott elaborated on the situation, saying:
“I gave the association a deadline of 12 noon yesterday to confirm the approval of the application. The only reaction: they hadn’t gotten around to checking the application — for three and a half weeks. The club is playing for time to prevent a vote. It must not be that the club flees this important debate with impunity!”
Understanding the issue
Bayern Munich fans have long protested the club’s association with Qatar, most notably the Qatar Airways sleeve sponsorship and the winter training camps in Doha. Journalist Felix Tamsut has an excellent Twitter thread detailing the ultras’ long fight to have their club held to account:
A Bayern Munich member has filed a motion for the club not to prolong its sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways.— Felix Tamsut (@ftamsut) October 26, 2021
The motion will be discussed at the club’s AGM in November.
About fans with a moral conscience and their power in a democratically-run club, background thread. 1/15 pic.twitter.com/FMhG91rjNA
We here on Bavarian Football Works have also covered the issue extensively, with our own John Dillion writing detailed reports on the subject. Here’s what you need to know:
A personal take
With European football slowly becoming more and more conscious of the human rights situation of migrant workers in Qatar, especially in the buildup to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Bayern’s association with Qatar is quickly becoming a stain of the club’s image. Whatever Kahn and Hainer may think about the money being brought in by the sponsorship, it cannot be worth the stigma of being a sportswashing vehicle for human rights abuses.
As a fan, I’m deeply disappointed with the club’s response to this issue, including the underhanded tactics to derail the vote. The Bundesliga 50+1 rule lets fans have a say, and Bayern fans — both online and in the stadium — have long since made their opinion known. We want Qatar out, and it’s sad that the bosses are trying to act deaf to such an important issue. This isn’t what Mia San Mia is about, and the club deserves to be held accountable by its fans.