The Russian authorities seem to have breached human rights of those working on construction of FIFA 2018 World Cup objects. FIFA President Gianni Infantino recognized this in his correspondence with some of Europe’s national football associations.
According to the recent report by The Guardian, ‘In a letter to the presidents of four Nordic football associations, Infantino acknowledged that some men from North Korea, whose working conditions are 'often appalling', were deployed to work at the Zenit Arena in St Petersburg. The presidents of the Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Icelandic FAs wrote to Infantino raising their concerns last week, following in-depth reportage by the Norwegian football magazine Josimar, which highlighted dreadful working conditions at the St Petersburg site. The article alleged that accommodation for the North Korean and other workers was in crowded storage containers outside the stadium, and cited local reports that a North Korean man was found dead in one of the storage containers, having suffered a heart attack’.
Describing the FIFA’s official reaction to this particular case and all relevant cases of human rights abuse during construction works on FIFA objects in Russia, the British outlet wrote: ‘In a statement, FIFA said it continues to monitor all World Cup construction in Russia, adding that no further evidence has been found of North Korean workers on any sites’.
‘These activities are part of a broader effort by FIFA to systematise and enhance its activities to ensure respect for human rights throughout its operations,’ the statement read as quoted by The Guardian.