FC Bayern and “Visit Rwanda” Partnership Raises Ethical Concerns

FC Bayern Munich has entered into a five-year Platinum partnership with Rwanda’s Sports Ministry and the Rwanda Development Board (RDB), aiming to develop youth football and promote Rwandan tourism through the “Visit Rwanda” campaign. This partnership, set to last until June 2028, was unveiled before FC Bayern’s first home game this season and is part of the club’s internationalization strategy.

The partnership involves FC Bayern sharing its expertise in youth football training for boys and girls and includes the construction of a football academy in Rwanda. Moreover, a Rwandan team will participate in the FC Bayern Youth Cup as part of the agreement. The “Visit Rwanda” logo will also be prominently displayed in the Allianz Arena during Bundesliga home games and in various tourism promotion activities.

However, the partnership has faced heavy criticism for ethical reasons. Human Rights Foundation condemned the deal as a way for FC Bayern to lend its prestige to a regime accused of severe human rights abuses, especially given the club’s recently dropped controversial deals with Qatar. British journalist Michela Wrong also questioned the sponsorship, pointing out that it appears contradictory for Western countries to send aid to one of Africa’s poorest nations while it invests millions in rich European football clubs.

Despite long-standing ties between Germany and Rwanda in multiple sectors, including climate, energy, and development, the recent sponsorship has raised questions about the responsibility and ethics of sports partnerships with regimes facing allegations of human rights abuses.