Qatar Airways said on Sunday it has signed a sponsorship deal with FIFA to be the official partner and airline of the next two World Cups, in Russia and Qatar.
The state-owned carrier did not disclose the value of the deal, which it said would cover the FIFA Confederations Cup 2017, the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, the FIFA Club World Cup, the FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
Rival Middle East carrier Emirates was a FIFA sponsor until 2014 when it said it would not renew its contract following months of calls for sponsors to respond robustly to allegations of bribery to secure the 2022 World Cup for Qatar.
Dubai-based Emirates said in 2015 it could be interested in renewing a deal to sponsor the World Cup in the future.
Disgraced former FIFA president Sepp Blatter was banned in 2015 for six years by FIFA’s own ethics committee at the height of a scandal engulfing soccer’s governing body.
Several dozen soccer officials, including some from FIFA, were indicted in the United States in 2015 on corruption-related chances. Blatter was not among them.
Qatar Airways is a major sponsor of Spanish football team Barcelona, and sponsors other sporting teams and events.