BRUSSELS: Sepp Blatter’s position as president of FIFA has been described as untenable by Sharan Burrow, general secretary of the International Trade Union Conference.

This follows the indictment by US authorities of 14 people on corruption charges and the stepping-up of a criminal investigation by the Swiss Attorney-General’s Office.

Burrow and her organisation has campaigned against the staging of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar because of the migrant workers’ conditions issue.

She said: “After 17 years at the head of FIFA, during which the stink of corruption around FIFA grew stronger, Mr Blatter should step down forthwith and the Swiss authorities should now place FIFA under judicial supervision.

“With the focus today on corruption charges, the world also mustn’t forget that migrant workers in Qatar are still being worked to death as the World Cup infrastructure programme there accelerates to meet the 2022 deadline.

“FIFA has failed to make labour rights a condition of Qatar hosting the World Cup and impoverished workers there are paying the price.”

Controversy is also mounting within Russia which will host the 2018 World Cup.

The ITUC’s Russian affiliates, FNPR and KTR. have condemned a proposal from a member of the national parliament to allow private companies to use prison labour to build infrastructure for the Cup.

Burrow said: “Russia’s trade unions fought back to amend the so-called ‘FIFA law’ which would have stripped away vital protections for World Cup workers, yet this proposal would allow companies to profit from using prison labour to build the facilities.

“FIFA has become synonymous with sacrificing human rights for profit.  Only change at the very top can save FIFA from an unfolding disaster of its own making.”

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