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Weekly update: Winter break nears a close

Updated: Mar 30, 2020

By Ben Higlett and Dan Reuben

With Bundesliga clubs now three-quarters of the way through their winter break, the teams have returned to training ahead of the league’s restart. The lack of competitive matches has not meant that there has been a lack of drama. Bayern Munich’s chief executive Karl-Heinz Rummenigge was forced to defend the club’s ties with Qatar once again this week, as the record champions travelled to Doha for their training camp – the ninth consecutive year that they have held their mid-season camp there. Bayern have faced criticism from their own fans in the past due to their sponsorship deals with Qatari companies, such as Qatar Airways, despite the country’s questionable human rights record. Rummenigge defended the connections, saying that the state has made improvements in recent years. Meanwhile, away from football, the Germany national handball team got off to a great start at the World Handball Championship, which they are co-hosting with Denmark. They ran out 30-19 winners against a unified Korea team at a sold-out Mercedes-Benz-Arena in Berlin. For South Korea's ambassador to Germany, Jong Bum Goo, the city in which the Korea team played their first game was extraordinarily significant, and he said that "Berlin is a very, very symbolic place for Koreans, a city that was divided but is united since the fall of the wall”.

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