Paul Ziemiak, the General Secretary of the CDU, the largest party in the German Parliament, voiced his concern over plans of a partnership between the German Football Association (DFB) and the airline Qatar Airways.

the contract between Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) and the DFB has been terminated by the latter on December 31, 2020. Since then, talks have been reportedly ongoing with Qatar Airways, with a partnership that could start for the next FIFA World Cup hosted by Qatar in 2022.

In an interview with the local media BILD on July 14, 2021, Paul Ziemiak “The DFB cannot seriously only care about the money,” Ziemiak commented. “Our national team represents our country and therefore also stands for human rights, democracy, and freedom.” Under the spotlight as the World Cup approaches, the emirate of Qatar has been criticized in recent months for the human rights situation in the country.

Lufthansa (LHAB) (LHA) was the official sponsor airline of the DFB and was thus responsible for flying the national team to international competitions since 2005. But according to BILD, the contract of €25 million a year was deemed too expensive for the association, and thus the DFB has since been looking for an alternative.