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22 Jan 2018

Thomas Klein, Deutsche Welle (Germany)

Bayern Munich cannot remain silent

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...As a human rights organization, we have nothing against Bayern Munich training or playing in Qatar. But as a member of major national and international associations, such as the German Football Association... and UEFA, the club must make sure that it's not involved in any human rights violations, not even indirectly... They're using buildings and infrastructure where it's very likely that human rights abuses have been committed... Bayern cannot remain silent on that. This is an international obligation for big companies, clubs and organizations... [W]e've been disappointed that the club hasn't commented publicly on this issue. Bayern is a company with statutes and values, and their silence on the issue contradicts the values the club claims to champion. Moreover, it's also incompatible with the values claimed by world sports in general — namely supporting fairness and equal rights, or opposing exploitation and slave labor. All of that exists in Qatar... It's true that some change has taken place, also positive things, but only on construction sites for stadiums that are being built ahead of the 2022 World Cup. But that's only because the whole world is watching these particular construction sites, and criticism has been huge. The working conditions on other construction sites, which are currently off the world's radar, need the same sort of attention...