Inmates can watch the World Cup
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Inmates can watch the World Cup

The Department of Corrections (DoC) will allow inmates to watch broadcasts of the football World Cup 2022 in prisons across the country.

The 2022 Fifa World Cup, hosted by Qatar, began on Nov 20 and runs until Dec 18. The World Cup is a global flagship sporting event coming around once every four years, with Thai broadcasters having secured the rights to broadcast 64 live matches via 17 free TV channels.

DoC director-general Aryut Sinthopphan on Sunday said the department hoped the decision will raise morale among inmates and encourage them to pay more attention to exercise and sports.

The activities will also help relieve tension among inmates since the Covid-19 pandemic and improve inmate behaviour, he said.

Inmates will be allowed to watch the live matches until 9pm each day, with videos of later fixtures made available the next day.

Mr Aryut said quarrelling and betting among inmates must not happen during the matches.

Additionally, as a New Year gift, the department will allow visits from relatives from Dec 30 to Jan 2 under the Public Health's disease control measures, he said.

Meanwhile, Royal Thai Police (RTP) has warned net idols, influential figures and celebrities against accepting PR jobs during the World Cup event as they will be liable to a maximum term of one year in jail if those jobs relate to betting of any kind.

Deputy RTP spokeswoman Noppawan Panya said violators may also be fined up to 1,000 baht under the Gambling Act 1935.

She urged public figures to carefully review these job offers prior to accepting.

Assistant national police chief Pol Lt Gen Phanurat Lukboon said police arrested a total of 1,901 football gamblers during Nov 19–24.

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