First football league for prisoners created in Dubai

Dubai has announced the creation of the first football league for prisoners serving sentences in the emirate. Fourteen teams, each consisting of six players, have already started training in detention centres.

The Dubai Sports Council (DSC), in cooperation with Dubai Police, is involved in organising these matches, which will be held at Al Awir Prison from April 7 to May 31.

According to Brigadier General Marwan Abdul Karim Julfar, director of the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Institutions of Dubai Police, the department is endeavouring with all its might to prepare prisoners for normal life after serving their sentences. The programme includes many stimulating activities, with sports being an integral part of them.

“The aim is for inmates to leave prison with skills useful for their future endeavours and to develop into people who are able to coexist, learn and develop harmoniously with society. We aim for them to become better individuals compared to their original state,” Mr Julfar said.

Salem Al Karbi, organiser of the event, added: “The matches will be played under the rules of the UAE Football Federation. This is the first official league under the control of government entities.”

Nasser Aman Al Rahma, assistant secretary general of the Dubai Sports Council, said: “Criminal and correctional prisoners of all nationalities are part of society. Sport can contribute to their rehabilitation and return to a fulfilling life. Our previous programmes have achieved successes, with 1,800 inmates (male and female) gaining qualifications on specialised courses. The skills learnt by more than 100 male and female prisoners on these courses have enabled them to work in the sports sector in their home countries upon their return.”

Source: Khaleej Times

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