Malaysia: Football tournament for detainees builds excitement and solidarity

  • All set for the final match of Sungai Buloh Prison-ICRC Trophy.
    Ng Ling Ling / Sin Chew Daily
  • The two finalist teams pose for a group photo before the kick-off.
    Ng Ling Ling / Sin Chew Daily
  • The orange and black teams made it to the final after two weeks of intense competition.
    Ng Ling Ling / Sin Chew Daily
  • Detainees cheering and clapping for their teams.
    Ng Ling Ling / Sin Chew Daily
  • Heavy rainfall the night before soaked the field but did not deter the players from giving their very best to the game.
    Ng Ling Ling / Sin Chew Daily
  • One of the match’s most tense moments involved a dramatic collision between two players.
    Ng Ling Ling / Sin Chew Daily
  • “I’m very happy! I have participated in this tournament three times and this is the first time my team has reached the final round,” said a smiling Roy** (Jersey No. 6).⁣ A shy Dan** (Jersey No. 10) said softly, “I like football! I have been playing football since secondary school.”⁣ ⁣ Both Roy and Dan said they enjoyed everything about the tournament, from the training sessions to the very last match. They added that there were no communication problems with other team members, mostly foreigners, despite language barriers, proving that sports are a universal language.⁣ ⁣
    Ng Ling Ling / Sin Chew Daily
  • Tim** jumped in joy and did several somersaults after being named the best player of the tournament.
    Ng Ling Ling / Sin Chew Daily
  • After a tough game, the orange team finally won the Sungai Buloh Prison-ICRC Trophy.
    Ng Ling Ling / Sin Chew Daily
19 February 2020

In December 2019, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) helped Sungai Buloh Prison organise its annual football tournament, marking the ICRC's first time supporting the tournament. The event aims at promoting access to open-air and recreational activities for detainees.

Ten teams, comprising about 180 detainees, vied for the Sungai Buloh Prison-ICRC Trophy over two weeks of intense matches and excitement. The final match was held on 18 December 2019.

*A news feature on the event authored by the Sin Chew Daily reporter Peh Hui Kee is available in Chinese and its English translation.

**Names have been changed to protect identities.