14 July 2015
World Cup host Qatar is discovering the reputational risk involved in hosting high-profile mega sporting events. Qatar Airways’ sponsorship of FC Barcelona is producing exactly the kind of publicity that is a corporate sponsor’s worst nightmare while a Swiss investigation of the Qatari World Cup bid threatens to expose questionable financial dealings that will fuel demands for withdrawing the tournament from the Gulf state.
An online petition calling on FC Barcelona to ditch Qatar Airways as its shirt sponsor unless it ‘treats its workers fairly’ has collected within days more than 50,000 signatures.
The petition was launched in the wake of an International Labour Organization (ILO) report based on a year-long enquiry that accused the airline of gender discrimination with the backing of the government by retaining the contractual right to fire cabin crew that become pregnant and forbidding female employs to be dropped off at or picked up from company premises by a man other than their father, brother or husband.
… James M. Dorsey is a senior fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, co-director of the Institute of Fan Culture of the University of Würzburg and the author of the blog, The Turbulent World of Middle East Soccer, and a forthcoming book with the same title.
RSIS / Online
Last updated on 15/07/2015