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Barcelona considering ending Qatar sponsorship deal

AP , Tuesday 27 Jan 2015
 Lionel Messi
Barcelona's Lionel Messi celebrates after he scored a penalty against Elche during their Spanish first division soccer match at Martinez Valero stadium in Elche January 24, 2015 (Photo: Reuters)
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The president of Barcelona says the Spanish club is considering ending its lucrative shirt sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways because of concerns over social issues in the Gulf state.

Josep Maria Bartomeu said in an interview on Catalan radio Tuesday that Barcelona was ''looking at alternatives to Qatar,'' pointing out that the contract ends in 2016.

Bartomeu said ''four years ago, we signed for economic reasons,'' adding that now ''other social issues'' needed to be taken into consideration.

Barcelona made headlines in Dec. 2010 when it ended its long-standing refusal to wear sponsorship logos on its jerseys by signing a deal worth 30 million euros a year with the Qatar Foundation.

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