Sri Lanka parliament passed all three readings of a bill, “Prevention of Offences related to sports” criminalising several offenses relating to match-fixing, becoming the first South Asian nation to do so on Monday. The bill was presented by Sports Minister Harin Fernando. Former Sri Lankan skipper Arjuna Ranatunga backed the bill in the parliament.
Betting on sports matches hosted by Sri Lanka was already illegal. Under the new bill, betting on sports events around the world will be illegal as well.
“Many tried to prevent this piece of legislation, but I am happy that it was taken up today,” Sports Minister Harin Fernando said after the law was passed unanimously by parliament.
If found guilty, the offenders can face upto 10 years of jail and a fine of $5,50,000. The new law also prohibits people with family links in the gambling business to be a part of sport’s local governing body.
As per the new bill, people who ‘provide inside information’, ‘deliberately misapply rules’ including pitch curators is illegal. Former cricketers introducing corrupt personnel to current cricketers will be considered an offense as well.
Earlier, players were required to report corrupt approaches to ICC’s ACU under ICC Code. Now, they are required to report these approaches to the Special Investigation Unit appointed by Sri Lanka’s government as well.
Former Sri Lankan players who have been charged for violating ICC’s anti-corruption code are Sanath Jayasuriya, Nuwan Zoysa and Dilhara Lokuhettige.