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Thursday, January 20, 2022

Bayern Munich CEO hits back at Qatar rights criticism


When asked about Bayern Munich’s involvement with Qatar, the CEO of the club applauded recent progress made in the Gulf state.

German football club Bayern Munich’s CEO Karl-Heinz Rummenigge said a great deal more could be achieved by way of dialogue than a “permanently critical attitude” when German media asked him about his club’s involvement in Qatar. 

Media and fans alike had raised questions about Bayern Munich’s ties with the host of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, who critics have slammed due to alleged “human rights violations.” 

“If you look at the developments in Qatar since they’ve been involved in football, the country is developing,” the chief executive said. 

“Everybody who deals with the Gulf States will confirm to you that, in terms of developments regarding human rights and workers’ rights, Qatar has made steps in the right direction,” he added, highlighting the reforms made by the country with regards to the Kafala system. 

Qatar has engaged in sweeping reforms since rights organisations have shed light on its widespread mistreatment of migrant workers.

In the past year alone, the government introduced several historic labour reforms to tackle unjust treatment of migrant workers across the country, including ditching the ‘No Objection Certificate’ (NOC), dismantling the controversial kafala system completely and providing protection for workers in the country.

Read also: Qatar says labour reforms ‘far from complete’ following Amnesty ‘Reality Check’ migrant report

Authorities also set a minimum wage of 1,000 Qatari riyals (QAR), which applies for all workers of all nationalities in both, private and governmental sectors, including domestic workers.

“Since 2010, there has been a consistent decline in the mortality rate as a result of the health and safety reforms we have introduced,” Government Communications Office said in a statement to Doha News, noting there are strict punishments, including jail time, for business owners who violate safety standards or limits on summer working hours.”

Though the reforms were considered significant, the government has also admitted “more work needs to be done.”

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