Rwanda and Germany’s renowned football club, FC Bayern Munich, have entered into a partnership aimed at promoting local football and tourism. However, critics are skeptical, labeling it an attempt to “sportswash” Rwanda’s human rights record.
Under the agreement, the “Visit Rwanda” logo will be displayed at FC Bayern’s 75,000-seat stadium during match days. Additionally, Rwanda plans to establish a new FC Bayern youth academy that will benefit up to 30 talented children.
Rwanda has previously signed similar sponsorship deals with Arsenal and Paris St-Germain. However, despite these international partnerships, Rwandan football teams have encountered difficulties in achieving success at both regional and continental levels.
Critics argue that such deals allocate valuable resources to wealthy European clubs while many Rwandans continue to live in poverty. Some view these partnerships as a way for Rwanda to divert attention from its human rights record.
FC Bayern Munich’s CEO, Jan-Christian Dreesen, sees the agreement as an opportunity for the club to engage with the African continent and gain valuable experiences.
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