POSTED AT 02:50 PM 01-01-2019
ICC says SLC worse than Zimbabwe Cricket in sports corruption – Sports Minister
Match-fixing to be incorporated into Sports Law
Sports Minister Harin Fernando displays a document from the ICC at the media conference held at his Ministry yesterday. Pic by Hirantha Gunatilake
Sri Lanka has been ranked as one of the top countries where sports corruption thrives by the International Cricket Council (ICC) and in an effort to curb it the ICC has decided to set up a permanent Anti-Corruption Unit office in Sri Lanka, stated Sports Minister Harin Fernando at a media conference held at the Sports Ministry yesterday.
“The ACU office once established will probe into corruption allegations in Sri Lankan Cricket. The government of Sri Lanka shall assist the ICC in establishing this office,” said the Minister. “He also said that 50% of their accommodation cost will be covered by the government of Sri Lanka.”
Speaking further Minister Fernando said, “We met Alex Marshal, Head of the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka has been ranked as one of the top worst countries where sports corruption thrives. This is nothing to be proud of. The ACU also informed me that even the mafia is involved in Sri Lanka Cricket corruptions.
Minister Fernando also revealed that the ICC Anti-Corruption Unit has handed over a report on corruption in Sri Lanka cricket which he said cannot yet be publicized as it may affect the ongoing investigations which are still underway.
“They mentioned to me that even Zimbabwe Cricket is not corrupt as much as Sri Lankan Cricket. According to the ICC, Zimbabwe’s administration was better, but Sri Lanka Cricket is corrupt from top to bottom,” Minister Fernando said.
“Most importantly, the ICC will be giving an amnesty period for all the members of the Sri Lankan cricket team to come before them and provide any relevant information on corruptions which are taking place in Sri Lankan Cricket. The specific time period will be soon declared,” the Minister said quoting the ICC.
“There is a code of conduct for the ICC. It is the ICC that pays these cricketers’ remunerations. One might wonder why we are getting the ICC so much involved in Sri Lanka Cricket.
Most of the funding received by SLC is from the ICC. It is their money that is being misused. So they have the right to get involved. The ICC has the power to take strict action against any corruption that has taken place in Sri Lanka Cricket,” he further said.
Minister Fernando also stated that an evaluation process will be initiated when renewing the contracts with Sri Lanka Cricket. He pointed out that some persons who have got these contracts signed are receiving large amounts of money as their payments. He said that he has requested them to justify their service for Sri Lanka Cricket.
MATCH-FIXING TO BE INCORPORATED INTO SPORTS LAW
The government is planning to incorporate in the Sports Law a law to prevent match fixing. Minister Fernando said that it will be done within the next two months.
“Advice has been sought presently from the Attorney General’s Department on the matter and the policies with regards to the new changes in the Sports Law which will be sent to the Legal Draftsman’s Department soon. After the proposed Sports Law is drafted, I will be presenting it to Parliament,” Minister Fernando said.
“This law is for all the sports in the country, not just for Sri Lanka Cricket,” he said.
Minister Fernando also said that several senior cricket personalities such as Sidath Wettimuny, Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar
Sangakkara have come forward to revive Sri Lanka cricket and one of their main demands is to establish a strong Sports Law in the country so that the culprits involved in sports corruption could be brought to book.
“At present, we have no proper law on sports corruption. So we need to strengthen the Sports Law in the country before trying to end corruption in sports. I am a politician. So my job is to provide facilitation for those people who know cricket well, to carry out this process. I will allow them to work which they think is correct, and I will give my fullest support to them to bring Sri Lanka cricket back on its feet,” the Minister added.