Petition demanding Barcelona FC ditches shirt sponsor Qatar Airlines reaches 53,000 signatures

Barcelona FC has come under pressure as a result of a petition demanding the team drops shirt sponsor Qatar Airways over its alleged mistreatment of female employees.

The airline is under pressure especially for a sub-clause enabling it to sack pregnant staff. Its position as a major sponsor of the Spanish side which previously championed Unicef on its shirts from 2006 to 2011 has come under fire as a result.

Fans of the club criticised its transition from a charitable sponsor to that of the Qatari firm. Tens of thousands of people flocked to sign the petition in under three days to have the sponsor removed.

The petition reads: “Right now, Qatar Airways sponsors one of the most famous football clubs, the Barcelona Football Club. Barcelona’s millions of fans see the team as “more than a club”, revered not only for the quality of its players -- like Neymar, Andrés Iniesta and of course, Lionel Messi -- but for its allegiance to ethics, fairness and social justice.

“We cannot legitimize a company that exploits thousands of vulnerable workers. It is against the values of the sport. We need to drop Qatar Airways as a sponsor.”

The airline has been a sponsor of the Catalan giant since the start of the 2011/12 season.

John McCarthy

I'm a reporter and presenter, into tech, sport, gaming and great ideas. Breaking news is my game although I love looking into the weird trends in marketing and advertising.

I drink tea.

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