Yellow Bus on Road Near City Buildings. Representational Image.
Yellow Bus on Road Near City Buildings. Representational Image. Max Avans/

Dubai Police and Dubai Sports Council (DSC) have launched the region's first football league for inmates to enhance physical exercise inside penal institutions and detention centers.

The league, dubbed as General Football League for Inmates, will be held from February 7 to May 31, enabling the inmates of penal and correctional institutions to compete with each other under 14 teams according to the six-six league system.

The announcement was made on Wednesday at the DSC headquarters in the presence of Assistant Secretary-General of the DSC Nasser Aman Al Rahma, Director of the General Department of Punitive and Correctional Establishments at Dubai Police Brigadier Marwan Julfar and Chairman of the event organizing committee Salem Al Karbi.

During the press conference, Al Rahma expressed his joy in announcing the General Football League for Inmates and praising DSC's strategic cooperation with Dubai Police to enhance the status of the sport in society.

The Assistant Secretary-General of the DSC stated that the initiative brings better "health, vitality, and happiness of community members, as well as its contribution to rapprochement and acquaintance between the various components of society," WAM reported.

"The Dubai Sports Council is also keen to cooperate with the private sector and provide means of success for various competitive and community sporting events that are organized throughout the year," he said. "Inmates of penal and correctional Establishments of all nationalities are part of society."

Furthermore, he explained that sports can contribute to rehabilitation and return to society for inmates as they will remain healthy and happy individuals who will be useful to society.

"The past years have witnessed joint work between the DSC and Dubai Police in this field, where Equipping penal and correctional Establishments with sports equipment and equipment and planning areas for practicing sports due to the importance of sport in developing the health and happiness of inmates," he said.

Al Rahma said that within the penal and correctional institutions, the officials had qualified trainers to train inmates through the Sports Inmates Program launched by the Dubai Sports Council in cooperation with Dubai Police in 2017.

This initiative was launched after the success of the Sports Inmates Program, under which 1,800 inmates, both male and female, qualified in specialized courses.

The program also saw the qualification of more than 100 inmates, both male and female, in specialized and accredited courses that qualified them to work in the sports sector in their country. Penal institutions also witnessed a 15% drop in the inmates' visits to the clinic.