Global Brands Group, Fifa’s licensee, says it has ordered a probe into media reports that Chinese workers making Zakumi dolls for the World Cup were being exploited.
Their statement reads:
Global Brands Group (GBG) and FIFA are aware of recent media articles pertaining to the manufacturer of the Zakumi figurine …
As FIFA’s exclusive worldwide Master Licensee, GBG is taking the lead role in the review of this specific manufacturer of this figurine. Prior to these media reports, no specific issues had previously been raised with GBG regarding this particular facility. GBG has taken appropriate steps to contract Intertek (the world’s largest independent testing, inspection and certification organisation) to conduct an immediate ethical and social compliance audit and inspection of this facility. An important step in this process is to liaise directly with the parties concerned and ascertain all the key facts surrounding any claims. FIFA is being kept informed on the progress of the review.
From the outset, GBG has sought to only deal with the “best of the best” manufacturers and distributors worldwide to help produce and sell official licensed product for the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa™. As often as possible first choice of production is South Africa, however, in cases where this is impossible international manufacturing partners are considered.
By virtue of GBG’s manufacturing and distribution license agreements and letters of undertaking from third party manufacturers, licensees and their respective third party manufacturers have committed to comply with the Code of Conduct of the World Federation of the Sporting Goods Industry (WFSGI) and the declaration on fundamental principles and rights at work adopted by the International Labour Organisation (ILO). These codes include, but are not limited to, the legal compliance of national laws and international working condition standards, the non-use of forced labour, non discrimination, freedom of association, prevailing industry wages, standard working hours, no child labour and safe and hygienic working conditions for all, etc.
“Global Brands Group takes these matters very seriously and we have therefore launched a review audit as a matter of priority. We wish to stress the fact that the Chinese manufacturer in question does not produce any of the other Zakumi plush toys, merchandise or products that are available in the market place. Global Brands Group has a variety of other manufacturers that handle these products and they are in no way linked to the same factory or industrial plant.,” says Paul Zacks, General Manager of Global Brands Group SA.
Forget all the worries over security for the 2010 World Cup players in South Africa.
Their biggest threat will probably come from the type of hooligan supporters who pelted Manchester City’s Craig Bellamy with a bottle and other missiles on Wednesday night.
Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness recently said that allowing SA to host the football spectacular was a big mistake because of the security issue, adding the problem was highlighted when gunmen opened fire at the Togolese soccer team in Angola.
Excuse me? That’s like saying Germany was an unsafe tourist destination because of the Serbian conflict. What happened in Angola has nothing to do with South Africa.
These two countries are separated by quite a distance. One of the sandwiched nations, Namibia, runs some 2,000km north to south.
I concede that players and tourists will have to watch out for South African crooks when out on the streets – and as long as they don’t dress like tourists and remain vigilant, they should be fine (don’t wear moonbags, don’t examine a map in a busy street, etc).
But hopefully players won’t have to endure the type of thugs who went to Old Trafford.
Thierry Henry admitted he handled the ball in the build-up to William Gallas’s goal against Ireland on Wednesday night. That goal meant that France avoided having to go into a penalty shoot-out to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Henry shrugged off the controvery saying he’s not the referee. But isn’t that like a criminal saying it’s okay to rob banks because it’s actually the job of the police to catch him?
I’m beginning to think that France should be exiled from world football. Read More…
Holland’s hordes of soccer fans travelling to South Africa have been warned to bring their own supply of condoms because of a fear of a shortage here.
Maybe they should also bring their Dutch Caps! (Sorry about this, but I do love a bad joke)
Two events on almost opposite ends of the world – and yet both could have big repercussions on sport in South Africa.
The one was a warning by Fifa, football’s world governing body, telling Iraq’s Olympic Committee to reinstate the national football association board it had dissolved or face suspension.
The similarity with what’s happening at home is frighteningly similar. The SA Olympic Committee, Sascoc, has suspended the board of Athletics SA (ASA) and on Monday finally moved into the federation’s headquarters to take over. Read More…
What a great day for South African sport!
Normally we screw the sportsman over and fall over the administrators. This is a Guy Fawkes to remember.
Heavyweight challenger Chris Arreola has been banned for six months by the WBC – for swearing after his stoppage loss to world heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko in September.
Apparently he was so emotional afterwards that the profanities just flowed during a post-fight interview.
One wonders if Fifa will take a similar hard-line stance on Argentina soccer coach Diego Maradona, who let loose at critical journalists after his team managed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup finals in South Africa.
The most prolific swearer in boxing circles (that I know of) is Johannesburg-based trainer Nick Durandt, who can occasionally be heard swearing at his boxers in the corner on live television. He’s never been suspended. Personally, swearing doesn’t offend me, but that doesn’t mean that other people won’t be offended.
Even so, I think six months is an over-reaction for something that is common in many Hollywood movies. Perhaps many of those movies are rated for 18-yearolds or up, but then again, you have to be 18 to become a professional boxer (at least here in South Africa).
If the WBC really want to get back to old-fashioned virtues, they should start by promoting the idea of single champions for every weight division!