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United Nations human rights investigator criticizes FIFA

March 8, 2010 |  9:54 am

A United Nations human rights investigator criticized FIFA on Monday, saying soccer's international governing body hasn't done enough to protect people from being forced out of their homes in cities hosting the World Cup.

U.N. investigator Raquel Rolnik cited reports saying more than 20,000 people are expected to be removed from a makeshift settlement near Cape Town before the June 11 start of the World Cup in South Africa. She says FIFA, or the International Federation of Association Football, hasn't made the protection of housing rights a priority in its World Cup host selection process.

"It's a much less transparent and clear process of bidding and selecting compared to the Olympic Committee," Rolnik told reporters in Geneva, Switzerland.

Rolnik said she has been unsuccessful in trying to meet with FIFA leaders to discuss the issue.

"FIFA never answered any of our letters, any of our requests to have meetings," she said.

Rolnik applauded Chicago's unsuccessful bid for the 2016 Olympic Games, saying it was the first potential host city to promise it would not evict people from their homes.

-- Austin Knoblauch

The Associated Press contributed to this report.