Bayern Munich responds to criticism of the club’s partnership with Rwanda

Jan Christian Dresen, CEO of Bayern Munich, German soccer club, defended the Bavarian club against criticism leveled at it by Human Rights Watch over its new partnership with Rwanda.

“We did not hide the partnership with Rwanda, but we dealt with it very forcefully,” Dressen said on Wednesday.

“One of the reasons is that we see Africa as a continent of opportunities. We are not the first to start engagements in the brown continent and we will not be the last. Going to this continent more intensively is part of our internationalization strategy,” Driessen added.

Bayern has become a partner of the Rwandan Ministry of Sports in the football development program, which can also bring young talents to the German league title holder (Bundesliga) in the last 11 seasons, and the German club has also become a partner of the Rwanda Development Board, which includes support for the tourism campaign named ” Visit Rwanda.”

The deal, announced last Sunday, comes on the heels of Bayern not renewing their sponsorship contract with Qatar Airways this summer.

Bayern fans and human rights groups criticized the Rwandan partnership, and Wenzel Michalski, director of Human Rights Watch in Germany, launched a scathing attack against the deal.

“Partnership now with Rwanda is a very bad option. It is a country where human rights are being violated,” Michalski told dpa.

Rwanda is ruled by the Rwandan Patriotic Front, which, according to Human Rights Watch, “continues to target those seen as a threat to the government”.

Dressen confirmed that Bayern was aware of these criticisms, but said that they dealt “extensively” with this issue before the partnership contract.

“There is a lot of poverty in Rwanda, but work is being done to achieve economic prosperity in the country,” said the CEO of Byrne.

Dressen concluded his speech by saying that Germany has engaged in various partnerships with Rwanda for 60 years, noting that German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited the African country last year, and that there are also many European Union projects established there.

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