Qatar Airways becomes CONMEBOL 'airline partner'

Qatar Airways (Getty Images)
Qatar Airways (Getty Images)

Doha - Qatar Airways announced yet another football sponsorship deal on Wednesday by unveiling a four-and-a-half year agreement with CONMEBOL to become the South American football confederation's "official global airline partner".

The sponsorship agreement will run until the end of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

"Qatar Airways is delighted to become the official global airline partner of CONMEBOL," said Qatar Airways CEO Akbar al-Baker.

"This is another big sponsorship that we are doing in football."

Baker said that the "milestone" deal would help bolster the brand of the airline and the country.

Jose Manuel Astigarraga, CONMEBOL's secretary general, called it a "super, fantastic agreement".

"(It will) build a brighter situation for all of football," he said.

"For us, it's a really big honour to have Qatar as a sponsor."

Citing a confidentiality agreement, Astigarraga refused to disclose how much the deal was worth but said it was "very interesting".

It is the latest deal in a rapidly growing football sponsorship portfolio for Qatar Airways.

The airline is also a shirt sponsor of Argentinian giants Boca Juniors, Italian side Roma and has a deal for sleeve sponsorship with Germany's biggest team, Bayern Munich.

Qatar Airways is also the "official airline" for world governing football body, FIFA.

Qatar's sporting and trade relationship with South America is also growing.

Baker confirmed that Boca Juniors will play in Qatar early in 2019 - talks are ongoing for Argentinians to play in a potential tournament.

Also next year, Qatar's national side will play in the Copa America in Brazil.

Wednesday's announcement comes just weeks after Qatar's leader Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani completed a trip to Ecuador, Peru, Argentina and Paraguay.

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