Bayern fume over seven-hour flight delay to Qatar
Bayern Munich’s Club World Cup mission got off to a rocky start with their take-off from Berlin on a direct flight to Qatar delayed seven hours overnight Friday.
After beating Hertha Berlin 1-0, the team made their way to the airport and had boarded their plane expecting to arrive in Doha six-and-a-half hours later.
But after heavy snow in the German capital, the plane’s de-icing took longer than expected and air traffic control refused permission for take-off due to a 00h00-07h00 (2300-0600GMT) ban on flights.
Bayern had to disembark the Qatar Airlines plane which had been due to leave at 2315 but in the end, was only given the all-clear for departure one minute before the flight curfew began.
The German champions, who have a semi-final against Egypt’s Al-Ahly on Monday, were forced to remain at the airport overnight, eventually leaving a few minutes before 0700, but this time with a stopover in Munich to change airline crew.
“We had the impression that the competent authorities didn’t care about us,” an irate Karl-Heinz Rummenigge, Bayern’s chairman, told Bild.
“Those in charge (at the airport) don’t have an inkling of what they’ve done to our team.”
After Monday’s semi-final against Egypt’s Al-Ahly and either the final or third-place play-off on Thursday Bayern are back home on Bundesliga duty against Arminia Bielefeld on Monday week.
One consolation for Bayern: they finally took off buoyed by five successive wins which left them 10 points clear of second-placed RB Leipzig, who have a game in hand away to crisis-hit Schalke later Saturday.