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The Qatar conundrum: Bayern Munich invites fans for peace talks

The roundtable will have various representatives to arrive at a better mutual understanding on the matter.

Sport-Club Freiburg v FC Bayern München - Bundesliga Photo by Matthias Hangst/Getty Images

Bayern Munich has invited the club’s critical fans to a roundtable on July 4 between 5 to 7 PM to discuss the Qatar controversy that has been a boiling issue for the club in the past few years(AZ). The roundtable will have representatives from the club, the fans, from Qatar, from human rights organisations as well as former members of the German government. Chairman of the Munich security conference, Christoph Heusgen is to be the moderator of the meeting.

The AGM in November ended in chaos with club members vehemently expressing displeasure with the Qatar deal. Michael Ott, a club member wished to bring a proposal to not renew the contract with Qatar Airways after the current deal’s expiry in 2023. However, the club’s core members declined the same calling the proposal “illegal”. The meeting ended abruptly with “Hainer out” slogans and the whole affair left a bitter taste in everyone’s mouths.

FC Bayern München v Sport-Club Freiburg - Bundesliga Photo by Stefan Matzke - sampics/Corbis via Getty Images

Bayern on its part has insisted that it has chosen the path of dialogue over exclusion to bring about positive changes with respect to Qatar’s human rights issues. And that this deal is a means of such positive dialogue. Fans have been critical, accusing the club of sportswashing the nation’s abuse and crimes in exchange for monetary benefits.

In a message to its fans, the club stated that it was important for its committed members to have their say on the matter. The aim of the meeting will be, “Factual and direct dialogue about German and Qatari society, about the criticism of human rights organizations and about the partnership between FC Bayern München AG and Qatar Airways.” On the other hand, the representatives from Qatar will also be given their opportunity to speak on the issue, “Conversely, the Qatari participants will be given the opportunity to make comments and ask questions about Germany, German society and the perception of their country in Germany.”

The Qatar Airways Logo on the FC Bayern Munich Home Shirt Photo by Visionhaus

With this meeting bringing together the several stakeholders of the entire matter, it would be a great opportunity to have every party hear the other’s opinions and come to a mutual conclusion whatever that may be. With the FIFA World Cup 2022 hardly six months away, this will be a meeting of significance, especially for Qatar and the club’s brass.

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