Fan opposition to Qatar goes viral (

July 15, 2015

By James Dorsey
Senior fellow, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

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.

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