No fewer than 30 inmates are participating in the maiden edition of a football tournaments organised by the Rivers Command of the Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) for inmates.

According to a statement on Wednesday by the Command’s Spokesperson, Juliet Ofoni, the two-week tournament was flagged off on Tuesday by Lawrence Felix, the Controller of Corrections, Rivers Command.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the tournament is organised for the reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates into the society.

Ofoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Corrections, also stated that the tournament was organised by Efiong Etim, the Deputy Controller of Corrections, in charge of Maximum-Security Custodial Centre, Port Harcourt.

She said, “The maiden football tournament tagged `Controller’s Cup 2022’ kicked off at the sports complex in the Maximum-Security Custodial Centre on Tuesday, 23rd August 2022.’’

Ofoni said the Controller had cautioned all participants to abide by the rules of the game.

“He assured them that the Rivers State Football Council and well-meaning dignitaries will be invited in the next tournament to identify talents who will join the nation’s national teams upon release.

“He went further to urge them to be useful to themselves and the society and shun criminal lifestyles.

“The tournament was organised in accordance with the provisions of Section 14, subsections 1 to 6 of the Nigerian Correctional Service Act 2019.

“The Act focused on reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates back to the society,’’ she said.

She said that participating players, drawn from different hostels and blocks of the custodial centre, were happy to be part of the reformation process.

According to the statement, Success Hostel defeated Victory Hostel by 3-0 in the first match of the tournament billed to end on Sept. 6.

NAN reports that the Female edition of the tournament is also on the cards. (NAN)