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FIFA still waits for US senators’ letter on alleged exploitation of workforce in Russia

August 03, 18:00 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Guardian reported in May that numerous alleged violations took place in regards to workers during the construction of the football stadium in St Petersburg

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© EPA/DOMINIC STEINMANN

MOSCOW, August 3. /TASS/.The world’s governing body of football, FIFA, has no comments to make on a letter from US senators regarding Russia’s alleged violations ahead of the 2018 World Cup as the organization has not received it yet, a FIFA spokesperson told TASS on Thursday.

A group of eight US Senators wrote a letter to FIFA President Gianni Infantino urging that the world’s football governing body open an investigation into Russia’s alleged exploitation of North Korean workforce at a construction site of a stadium for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

"For the moment FIFA has not yet received the original letter," the FIFA spokesperson told TASS. "As soon as we do, we will respond."

British daily The Guardian reported in May that numerous alleged violations took place in regards to workers during the construction of the football stadium in Russia’s second largest city of Saint Petersburg. According to the daily, heads of the football federations of Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Iceland expressed their concern with labor conditions of North Korean workers at the construction site.

In its letter to the FIFA chief a group of eight senators, led by Senator Bob Menendez, a senior member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, stated in particular: "As an organization with the capacity to affect the lives of billions of fans, athletes, and workers around the world, FIFA must live up to its commitments on human rights."

"Protecting workers and athletes from forced labor must be a key element of those commitments. If FIFA fails to take action against Russia and North Korea, it will be perceived as tolerating these countries’ heinous practices," according to the letter.

After successfully hosting the FIFA Confederations Cup earlier this summer, Russia is now in full-swing preparations to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

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