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China firm denies Fifa sweatshop claims

A Chinese company has denied exploiting workers making the mascot for the 2010 football World Cup in South Africa.

Fifa, football’s world governing body, has suspended the Shanghai firm’s contract over accusations its employees worked in sweatshop conditions. Unions in Africa criticised the decision to move production to China, saying the jobs should have stayed in Africa.

Global Brands Group, the licensee for 2010 World Cup merchandise, said on 9 March it was withdrawing its contract from Shanghai Fashion Plastic Products (SFPPC). But a spokeswoman for SFPPC told Agence France-Presse, "Considering China’s actual conditions, the environment in our factory, if not the best, is very good indeed."

(Source: BBC News)