Statement by Dr Christoph Heusgen on the FC Bayern round table
In early 2020, FC Bayern Munich announced that it would host a round table to discuss German and Qatari society, including criticism from human rights organisations. After the end of Covid-19 restrictions, this round table was held at the Allianz Arena on 4 July 2022. The participants are listed below. FC Bayern members had the opportunity to follow the round table via a live stream and participate in the discussion through the fans' representatives.
The round table took place in a business-like and respectful atmosphere. The FC Bayern representatives, Herbert Hainer and Oliver Kahn, explained the club's activities in and with Qatar, especially its commitment to promoting women's football. Head of the Qatari World Cup committee, Hassan Al-Thawadi, and the Qatari ambassador in Berlin, Abdulla bin Mohammed bin Saud Al-Thani, presented the measures taken by the Qatari government in recent years to improve the working and living conditions of the numerous foreign workers. Former German Foreign Minister, Sigmar Gabriel, highlighted the geopolitical importance of Qatar and the country's relationship with Germany. The representatives of the human rights organisations and the International Labour Organisation (Stephen Cockburn, Michael Windfuhr, Max Tuñón) confirmed the progress made, but also pointed out the tasks that still needed to be done. Michael Ott and Robin Feinauer, and through them some other fans who were following the round table through the live stream, criticised FC Bayern's engagement in and with Qatar because of the continuing deficits in the realisation of human rights.
Dr Christoph Heusgen (Chair of the Munich Security Conference)