Bayern head to Doha promising to review Qatar Airways deal

Bayern Munich CEO Oliver Kahn said on Friday the side was reviewing whether to renew its sponsorship arrangements with Qatar Airways, as the side flew to Doha to begin their annual winter training program.

Bayern have come under criticism for their ties to Doha and the state-owned carrier in relation to alleged human rights issues in Qatar, particularly surrounding the 2022 World Cup in the Gulf nation.

In an interview with German tabloid Bild, Kahn said the partnership, which is set to expire at the end of the season, could be extended pending a review of "sporting, financial and social" concerns.

"We will start the talks now," the former German international goalkeeper said.

"First of all, it will be a matter of taking stock and then re-assessing each other's interests. We will discuss sporting, financial and social issues."

When asked if an extension was a foregone conclusion, Kahn told Bild "as I said, we are now holding talks. We won't be giving real-time updates."

Bayern have come under fire previously from club members for their ties to Qatar, with the club's 2021 AGM punctuated by boos and chants for the ties with the Gulf state to be ended.

Fans in normally football-mad Germany were lukewarm on the 2022 World Cup due to human rights issues and concerns surrounding the awarding of the cup to Qatar, with bars and fan groups across the country boycotting the event.

In Qatar, the German national side backtracked on a promise to wear a 'One Love' armband in support of human rights and diversity, blaming the decision on threats of on-field sanctions from FIFA.

In the pre-match photo before the first game of the tournament, the German side posed with their hands covering their mouths, issuing a statement that they had been silenced by the sport's governing body.

Germany were eliminated at the group stage for the second-successive World Cup but denied the team was distracted by off-field events.

This is Bayern's 11th winter training camp in Qatar, although the side skipped the visit in 2021-22 due to concerns of a heavily congested schedule.

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