In French hands: Vinci, who manage London Olympic Stadium, deny claims by campaign group Sherpa of forced labour in Qatar Photo: PA
The company appointed to run the Olympic Stadium is facing a legal claim alleging it allows “forced labour” on construction projects designed to prepare Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup.
French firm Vinci, which was last month awarded the contract to manage the London 2012 centrepiece, was the subject of a complaint lodged with a prosecutor on Monday by campaign group Sherpa.
Vinci, which also operates the Stade de France, responded on Tuesday by categorically denying the allegations made by the non-governmental organisation.
The claims emerged just seven weeks after Vinci was announced as the winner of the battle to run the Olympic Stadium for the next 25 years.
It will be handed the keys to the iconic venue ahead of the Rugby World Cup, which will stage five matches there, and will work with West Ham United to ensure it is ready for their move there next year.
The soon-to-be £600 million stadium will also become the home of UK Athletics and will stage the 2017 World Athletics and IPC Athletics World Championships.
Vinci will be responsible for bringing other events and activities to the venue on days when it is not being used by West Ham.
Sherpa said its complaint, filed with the prosecutor’s office in the Parisian suburb of Nanterre, followed a months-long investigation into the conditions faced by migrant workers in Qatar.
It claimed to have interviewed employees of Qatari Diar Vinci Construction – a joint venture company between Qatari Diar and Vinci Construction Grands Projets – who provided testimony alleging the kind of abuses reported on other building sites in the country.
They include claims of the confiscation of workers’ passports, which Sherpa said amounted to “forced labour” and “keeping someone in servitude”…