The Bill titled ‘Prevention of offences relating to sports’ was unanimously passed without amendments in parliament today.
The Bill, which sought to prevent offences such as match-fixing, corruption, manipulation and illegal betting in sports, was presented in parliament by Sports Minister Harin Fernando.
The Bill also sought to strengthen national and international co-operation among sports organisations, law enforcement agencies and betting operators, to exchange information relating to match-fixing, corruption, illegal manipulation and illegal betting in sports and promote best practices in sports,
It also envisaged conducting programmes in order to promote awareness of the above aspects to improve coordination among stakeholders.
An independent, impartial special investigations unit will be established to carry out investigations into offences. Any person who commits an offence specified in the Bill would be liable to a fine of not exceeding rupees one hundred million or imprisonment for a period not exceeding ten years or both fine and imprisonment.
Minister Fernando said he was thankful to the Prime Minister and the Speaker who made efforts to convene a special parliament session to debate the Bill and got it approved in parliament while some others were attempting to delay it using various tactics. (Ajith Siriwardana)