Prevention of Offences Sports Bill passed

2019-11-11 at 14:30

The second reading of the Prevention of Offences relating to Sports Bill has been passed in Parliament, without amendments.

NewsRadio lobby correspondent said the motion moved by the Leader of the House was passed during today’s special sitting.

Following the approval of the bill, all persons involved in the betting industry and their relatives are barred from holding office in any recognised local sports governing body.

Press Release by the Parliament Department of Communication;

The Prevention of Offences relating to The Sports Bill with the objective of investigating and preventing match fixing, corruption, illegal manipulation and illegal betting, under which, if found guilty of the offences mentioned in the Bill will be charged a fine not exceeding 100 million or a sentencing not exceeding 10 years in prison or both was passed unanimously during the special sitting called yesterday, 11th November 2019.

Chapter I of Part II of this Act defines match-fixing, corruption, illegal manipulation and illegal betting;

Any betting that is a financial or other benefit or disadvantage to himself or another person, act in a manner that ensures the occurrence if any improper performance, act, omissions or an outcome, which is the subject of illegal bet relating to a sport or any sporting event.

Providing with any inside information relating to a sport, any sporting event or any person, to any person including a betting operator, other than in connection with bona fide media interviews and commitments.

Provides or receives any gift, payment, reward or benefits, financial or otherwise, that might reasonably be expected to bring such person any sport or sporting event into dispute.
Any umpire, match adjudicator or match referee deliberately misapplied their rules of the sports or sporting event for money or any other reward it benefit.

Any curator or member of venue staff, ground staff or support staff receives money or any other reward to prepare any turf , ground or playing surface of any sport or disclose information of the preparation and condition of the turf, ground or playing surface.
Any person including a retired player or any person connected to a sport is utilised by any person to gain access to local or foreign players in order to influence their performance for money or any other reward.

Offenses under this Act will be investigated under the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure and shall be a non-bail offence.

The Act stipulates that an independent, impartial Special Investigation Unit consisting of a number of Police Officers with a rank not less than an Assistant Superintendent of Police shall be appointed to investigate any offence under this Act.

Accordingly, at the Annual General Meeting of Sports Associations, a list of eligible voting members must be submitted to its affiliates at least 14 days prior to the meeting. An audited account report must be certified by the relevant chairman, secretary and treasurer and should be provided to the subsidiaries.

This bill aims to focus against the backdrop of allegations related to match-fixing and corruption, illegal manipulation and illegal betting given that there are no laws to prevent offences related to sports in Sri Lanka and the recent International Cricket Committee (ICC) investigators conducting investigations and protesting against such Offences.