A gang of yobs are being sent to the World Cup in South Africa on a free trip intended to transform them into role models.
The nine Glaswegians will spend three weeks at the finals and be treated to days out sightseeing as well as attending matches.
Strathclyde Police and the Church of Scotland are backing the initiative, with the youths aged 16-21 hand-picked from more than 100 applicants.
Each of the individuals going on the trip has been identified as being at risk from, or already involved in, gang violence.
They will be joined by church youth workers on their travels.
The trip has received £10,000 of public funding from a police anti-violence initiative.
However Scottish justice spokesman John Lamont, of the Conservative Party, has blasted the plans.
"The victims of youth crime will wonder why these young criminals are getting rewarded for their anti-social behaviour," he said.
"For many decent, law-abiding people this would constitute the trip of a lifetime.
"They will, quite rightly, be appalled that taxpayers' money is used in this way."
Mark Wallace, of the TaxPayers' Alliance, added: "The Church are free to do what they want with their money, but taxpayers' cash should not be used to pamper gangsters.
"This sends out an awful message that if you get mixed up in crime you get the trip of a lifetime, but if you play by the rules you get left at home to pay."
The youths will compete in a 'World Cup of Friendship' against youths of similar background from other countries while also visiting ghettos on the outskirts of Cape Town.
Detective chief superintendent John Carnochan, head of the Violence Reduction Unit, said: "These young men have committed themselves to getting out of the violent gang lifestyle and living more worthwhile lives in their communities."
Church of Scotland spokesman Neil Young said: "This event is much more than football.
"It is about bringing together almost 40 young men who are demonstrating a clear potential to be positive role models from the poorest communities in Scotland, Germany and South Africa.
"We are aiming to develop the work we do in partnership with Strathclyde Police, which the Priority Areas Committee has an increasingly strong record."