10 Mar 2010

Chinese factory ordered to stop making World Cup toy

6:28 pm on 10 March 2010

A Chinese factory has been ordered to halt production of a football World Cup mascot because of sub-standard working conditions.

FIFA's branding company Global Brand Group says the Shanghai-based factory will have to make changes before it's allowed to resume production.

Zakumi, a green-haired leopard, is the official mascot for the World Cup, which starts on June 11 in South Africa.

In January the British Sunday tabloid News of the World reported the company paid its workers "pitiful" wages and made them work in squalid conditions.

South African trade unions are angry some World Cup merchandise is being manufactured outside their country, which has an unemployment rate of more than 25 percent.