Chinese Factory Halts World Cup Toy Production

According to AFP, a Chinese factory has halted production of World Cup 2010 mascot toys after an investigation into alleged sweatshop conditions, the merchandise company for world football body FIFA said Tuesday. Global Brands Group, master licensee for all FIFA World Cup 2010 merchandise, withdrew manufacturing approval after an audit of the factory showed standards had been flouted.

The group launched the probe after reports that the factory, which produced figures of the event’s dreadlocked leopard mascot Zakumi, employed teenage workers, ran 13-hour shifts, and paid just $3 (2.2 euros) a day.

Conditions at the Chinese factory will be re-assessed after the suspension, with the South African licensee working to ensure compliance with ethical standards, the Global Brands Group said.

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