The jail inmates including the lifers and murder convicts are also taking cues from their favourite players to train for a football league of their own - Jail inmates Football League.
The West Bengal Correctional Department (WBCD) in its effort to bring those jailed into the mainstream recently started organising various recreational programmes including cultural fests and sports events.
Football is the newest addition to the list. Though the department in association with the Football Lovers Association has been organising football matches between six central correctional homes in the state every year since 2012, this is the first time that a team comprised of convicts will participate in the North 24-Paragans district football League championship starting from next July.
"This year we have decided to set up a team of 30 players from among convicts of six central correctional homes, out of which 11 players will be picked up to play the district football championship," ADG (Prison) Adhir Sharma told PTI.
Sharma said this was a unique initiative taken after witnessing the passion for the game among the inmates. Among the 30 convicts who have been selected for the team are dreaded criminals like Robin Mallik, Mukesh Singh, Somnath Mistry, Laltu Sheikh and Hubba Shyamal.
Sharma said he had already written to the IFA to allow the team of jail inmates to play in the next Kolkata Football League.
With PTI inputs