Rummenigge tries to defend Bayern’s ties with Qatar over fans protests

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Bayern Munich chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge defended his club's ties with Qatar on Friday as the squad headed for a training camp in the Gulf state for the ninth year in a row.

Bayern faced protests from their own fans at a home match last year when supporters displayed banners which read "money (over) human rights", "capital (over) morals" and "open your eyes when it comes to sponsor choice."

Qatar, which will host the 2022 World Cup, has faced several allegations of migrant worker abuse from human rights organizations including Amnesty International.

Bayern Munich criticized by Human Rights Watch for team’s Qatar camp

Rummenigge said Bayern were one of many German companies involved in business with Qatar, which he said had been responsive to criticism.

"Like other football clubs and sports associations, we are also engaged in a dialogue in the Gulf region," he said in an interview with the Munich-based daily Abendzeitung.

Rummenigge said Bayern had regular exchanges with their partners in Qatar "including the issue of human rights and the rights of workers."

Bayern first held their training camp in Qatar in 2011, saying at the time it had perfect conditions for a winter break.

The club subsequently strengthened its ties by signing a sponsorship deal with Doha airport and in July last year, Qatar Airways became one of its partners.

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