Emirates confirms talks as Qatar Airways rejects FA Cup link

Emirates airline has confirmed talks over a potential sponsorship deal for the English FA Cup club football knockout competition, as Qatar Airways denied interest in partnering with the competition.

Multiple UK media reports last month stated that Emirates had agreed terms on a title sponsorship for the FA Cup. The deal is understood to be worth £30m (€41.6m/$44.75m) to the Football Association over three years from 2015-16 to 2017-18.

The FA Cup has taken place without a main sponsor this season after beer brand Budweiser opted against renewing a partnership valued in the region of £9m annually.

An Emirates spokesperson has now told the Arabian Business website: “Emirates can confirm discussions with the English Football Association (FA) regarding a sponsorship partnership is underway. Once an agreement has been reached, we will be in a position to share more information.”

Meanwhile, Qatar Airways has denied holding talks with the FA over the rights amid reports that English football’s governing body did not want to partner with the national carrier due to its ongoing opposition to the award of the 2022 Fifa World Cup to Qatar.

Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways chief executive, moved to deny reports in UK newspaper the Daily Mail that the FA opted against a deal with his firm, insisting that one was never on the table.

He said: “I think you have the wrong information. We have never been approached, nor have we approached anybody, to sponsor anything in the UK.”