On Sunday, Qatar Airways has revealed that it would be an official sponsor of the next two FIFA World Cups in 2018 and 2022. The state-owned carrier is now filling in for the position as a sponsor since Dubai-based carrier Emirates stopped its sponsorship after the 2014 World Cup.
FIFA has announced that it lost about $369 million dollars in 2016 because of the corruption issues that it faced. The scandals resulted to some potential sponsors and commercial backers staying away from negotiations involving FIFA.
Reuters reported that FIFA is still looking for more sponsors to fill in its second-tier and third-tier sponsorship groups. In fact, the world's soccer governing body needs more sponsors so that it would reach a $100 million surplus before World Cup 2018 ends. Aside from that, Gianni Infantino vowed to increase the number of payouts to its member federations so the organization is currently under pressure to get higher revenues.
But despite FIFA's tarnished reputation, USA Today reported that Qatar Airways has announced its sponsorship and FIFA leaders arrived in Bahrain to attend the annual congress meeting. However, the airline company didn't discuss details of the deal but only stated that it would sponsor Confederations Cup 2017, World Cup 2018 in Russia, Women's World Cup and Club World Cup in 2019 and of course, World Cup 2022 in Qatar.
The airline will join other big companies in becoming the official sponsors of FIFA and that includes Adidas, Visa, Hyundai, Gazprom, Wanda Group and Coca-Cola. These companies belong to the first tier group, the highest among the three of FIFA sponsorships.
It's not the first time the airline company sponsored sports clubs and big events because it's already one of the major sponsors of the FC Barcelona football club. But FIFA released a statement that the deal with Qatar Airways is going to be one of the world's biggest sponsorships in sports and also in the airline's sponsorship history.