Inmates and guards form soccer team
A Tuscan jail has formed Italy's first soccer team made up of jailers and inmates.
The Massa Carrara jail will compete at the highest level of Italian amateur soccer, the Terza Categoria provincial league.
The squad is made of up 26 guards and police and six inmates, chosen not for soccer skill but as a reward for good behaviour.
Massa jail chief Salvatore Iodice said sport was just as important as work in rehabilitating prisoners.
''It teaches people how to play by the rules and get on with others,'' he said.
A local Carabinieri commander, Antonio Ciervo, said he was ''very proud'' to be on the team.
''Once we get over the initial embarrassment we'll show that we aren't jailers and inmates on the field, but only team mates, men without a label who respect each other, I hope,'' he said.
The team is called 'Galeotta', the name of a type of light raiding ship used by Italy's old naval powers - but also a play on the word 'galeotto' or jailbird.
''I hope this idea can be an example,'' said the man who came up with the name, ex-Bologna coach Renzo Ulivieri, currently president of the Italian association of professional soccer coaches.
Galeotta debuts against a club based in the nearby coastal town of Marina di Massa on October 4.