After the end of the Qatar partnership, FC Bayern enters into the next explosive deal

The human rights organization Human Rights Watch has sharply criticized FC Bayern’s new partnership with the “Visit Rwanda” tourism campaign. “Anyone who thought that FC Bayern would change sponsors for human rights reasons has now been severely disappointed,” Germany director Wenzel Michalski told the German Press Agency on Tuesday.

Human rights activist criticizes Bayern deal with Rwanda: “Bad choice”

In the summer, Bayern’s deal with Qatar Airways was not extended after harsh criticism. “The partnership with Rwanda is also a very, very bad choice,” Michalski continued.

The German soccer record champion announced the five-year partnership with the East African country on Sunday. The “Visit Rwanda” logo should be displayed on the advertising boards at all Bundesliga games. In addition to a training academy for boys and girls that the people of Munich want to set up in Rwanda, “various activities to promote tourism” are also planned, according to the club’s announcement. Among other things, Rwanda hopes that the deal will result in more visitors from Germany and “top performances in sport”, as Sports Minister Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju said. Bavaria’s CEO Jan-Christian Dreesen spoke of “exciting, responsible tasks”.

“This is a country where human rights are trampled underfoot”

The human rights situation in Rwanda is extremely tense. The ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) has complete control of the political arena in the small country of around 14 million people. Government critics are regularly threatened by President Paul Kagame and other senior government officials. Basic human rights such as freedom of expression and freedom of assembly are severely restricted. Free, independent media hardly exist. “This is a state in which human rights are trampled underfoot,” criticized Michalski.

The partnership with Rwanda is not the first deal that FC Bayern has been attacked for. The contract with Qatar Airways, which had been running since 2018, expired in June. Qatar has also been sharply criticized for the human rights situation and the situation for foreign workers. Many FC Bayern fans were very critical of the financially lucrative cooperation with the airline. At the Munich annual general meeting in 2021, there was turmoil between the club management and the fans.

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