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Bayern fume over seven-hour flight delay to Qatar

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Bayern Munich’s German forward Thomas Mueller (L) and Hertha Berlin’s Paraguayan defender Omar Alderete vie for the ball next to Hertha Berlin’s German midfielder Sami Khedira during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Hertha BSC Berlin and FC Bayern Munich in Berlin on February 5, 2021. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / POOL / AFP)

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.

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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.

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“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.”

Bayern Munich’s German forward Thomas Mueller (L) and Hertha Berlin’s German midfielder Sami Khedira walk on the pitch during the German first division Bundesliga football match between Hertha BSC Berlin and FC Bayern Munich in Berlin on February 5, 2021. (Photo by John MACDOUGALL / POOL / AFP)


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.

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