The Ugandan authorities on Monday banned prison staff from using their mobile phones during the World Cup period, warning that inmates could take advantage of the "excitement" surrounding the tournament to stage escapes.
"The start of the football World Cup tournament on 20 November 2022 and its excitement could lead to prisoner escapes," said the spokesperson for the Commissioner-General of Prisons, Frank Mayanja Baine, in a statement on Monday.
"Staff should not report to work with phones as they distract and interfere with the level of vigilance," the statement added, ordering prison officials to tighten security in areas "where prisoners may be watching football".
Large-scale prison escapes are common in Uganda's often overcrowded prisons.
In September 2007, more than 200 inmates escaped from a high-security prison in the Karamoja region in the northeast of the country.
In 2006, 500 inmates also escaped from a prison in Arua, in the West Nile region (north-west).
Uganda has over 6,000 inmates in its prisons, according to official records.