Illustration for article titled Report: Underpaid Migrant Laborers Working 18 Hours Per Day On FIFA Legal Defense

ZURICH—Following a massive U.S. Department of Justice indictment alleging that high-ranking members of the global soccer organization conducted widespread financial fraud, sources confirmed Thursday that underpaid migrant laborers are currently working roughly 18 hours a day preparing FIFA’s legal defense. “We have reason to believe that dozens of malnourished, impoverished workers are being exploited by FIFA for their labor as they attempt to build a defense strategy for charges including bribery, money laundering, and racketeering,” said Human Rights Watch spokesperson Reed Brody, noting that the laborers, who originate from countries including Bangladesh, Thailand, and Senegal, have been reviewing financial records and filing subpoenas for hours on end in a fetid, dimly lit boiler room inside FIFA headquarters. “Some of those working to research relevant RICO cases are said to be as young as 14 years old, and we know of at least three cases of workers who died of exhaustion while preparing documents for pretrial motions. Of course, for all this grueling paralegal work, they are still only making a nominal 32 cents per hour.” Brody added that human rights organizations are also investigating reports of a Nepalese man who disappeared the day after attempting to submit a guilty plea on behalf of an indicted FIFA official.


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