Barcelona unaffected by tensions in the Middle East as Qatar ties prepare to be severed

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The La Liga outfit will see their current shirt sponsorship deal come to an end on June 30, with the club moving in a different direction for 2017-18

Barcelona will not be affected by the political tension in the Middle East which has led six countries to sever ties with Qatar.

The La Liga giants are currently sponsored by Qatar Airways, with their logo adorning the famous Blaugrana jerseys since 2013.

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That agreement will, however, come to a close on June 30, with Rakuten taking over for the 2017-18 campaign.

Barca are, therefore, free of any possible involvement in a diplomatic breakdown.

An official version given to Goal from the club said: "We won't be affected at all because all links with Qatar end on 30th June."

Paris Saint-Germain, who are owned by Oryx Qatar Sports Investments (QSi), also confirmed to Goal that the situation will have no impact on the club.

The issues in the Middle East have, however, already had an impact in football circles.

On Monday, six Arab countries cut all ties with Qatar, accusing the nation of destabilising the region by backing militant groups such as so-called Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda.

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Qatar denies having any involvement, branding the claims “unjustified” and with “no basis in fact”, but Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen, Libya and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have all split from their Gulf neighbours.

On the back of this political shift, Riyadh-based Al Ahli Saudi Football Club announced that they had terminated their sponsorship deal with Qatar Airways.

The company are, however, still the official partner and airline of world football’s governing body, FIFA.

That agreement is set to run through to 2022, with Qatar Airways set to be the title sponsor for the 2017 Confederations Cup, the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the Club World Cup, Women’s World Cup and the 2022 World Cup finals.

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