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Bayern sign deal with Doha airport

27 January 2016, 17:18

Berlin - Despite past criticism for opting to hold their January training camps in Qatar, German champions Bayern Munich have signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with Doha airport.

"I am pleased to welcome Doha airport as a sponsor from the tourism industry," said Bayern chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge in a statement.

"This partnership is a further step in our international strategy."

Doha's Hamad International Airport is the tenth company to buy a platinum-level sponsorship package with Bayern and will advertise at the club's Allianz Arena stadium.

The deal with the airport, which opened in 2014, is set to earn Bayern several million euros per season.

Also read: Bayern's Lahm drops early retirement hints

Bayern have held a winter training camp in Qatar's capital Doha for the last six years, which regularly draws criticism in Germany over the Arab state's human right violations.

According to Rummenigge, part of the sponsorship deal means the club and the airport, "will work together to promote social projects and dialogue on important issues of social policy".

Bayern have expanded their brand overseas in recent years after touring the United States in 2014, which involved marketing and sponsorship deals, while in 2015 they toured China.

Political opposition here to the news of the sponsorship deal was initially tepid.

"The fact is that Qatar is a strong investor in Germany," Germany's foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told daily newspaper Bild.

"From a foreign policy point of view, there is nothing wrong with there being exclusive economic relations between Bayern Munich and Qatari companies."

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