Nigeria wins jailhouse World Cup

Posted by Webby on 6/14/2002 7:54:14 AM
Post Comment Nigeria wins jailhouse World Cup Nigeria

BANGKOK (Reuters) - With transvestite mascots sashaying around the pitch, Nigeria has beaten Japan 5-1 as inmates at the "Bangkok Hilton" kicked off their own World Cup.

Prisoners supporting a Nigerian team cheer during the 1st Klong Prem Central Prison World Cup Football tournament between Nigeria and Japan at Klong Prem Prison stadium on the outskirts of Bangkok Thursday, June 13, 2002. The event was held to have more than 1,000 foreign prisoners relax and exercise during the FIFA World Cup held in Japan and South Korea. The seven-a-side match ended with Nigeria beat Japan 6-1. The eight teams participate in the competition are Japan, England, Nigeria, Italy, France,Germany U.S.A. and Thailand. (AP Photo/Apichart Weerawong)

"We've been training once a day for a month. It's great. It relieves the stress of prison life," said 35-year old Prince Juvenal, a Nigerian doing time for drugs trafficking at Thailand's notorious prison.

Inmates in women's clothing and a prison brass band led out the eight teams of prisoners at Bangkok's all-male Klong Prem prison. The England team was preceded by a man dressed as Queen Elizabeth II ( news - web sites) while Japan's team mascot donned a kimono.

Nigeria, France, Germany, Thailand, England, Italy, the United States and Japan are battling over the next few days for a wooden model of the real world ( news - Y! TV) cup trophy made by inmates.

Toothbrushes and soap will also be awarded to the winning team.

Emmanuel Agbana of the Nigerian embassy said he was not surprised his compatriots easily unlocked the Japanese defence.

"We are a great footballing nation," he said.

The jail is home to 1,132 foreign inmates serving sentences of between 10 and 30 years for crimes such as drug trafficking and murder, prison officials said.

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