CBI gets cracking on corruption in sports

    By IANS,

    New Delhi : In its bid to combat corruption in sports, India’s premier investigating agency Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is planning to set up a specialised unit that would tackle cases of sports fraud.

    On the first day of the two-day FIFA-Interpol national workshop that started here Wednesday, CBI director Ranjit Sinha said the investigating agency has taken note of the increasing cases of corruption in Indian sports.

    However, he said there is a lack of legal framework, which is the main hurdle in probing corruption in sports.

    Sinha said the CBI will soon set up a sports fraud investigation unit under special crime branch. It will investigate sports fraud, match fixing and illegal betting.

    “We, in CBI, have taken due notice of growing menace of corruption in sports in general and challenges in football and other sports in particular…Very soon we shall set up a sports fraud investigation unit in the CBI under special crime branches,” Sinha said in his keynote address.

    Sinha said the unit will coordinate with other law enforcement agencies and will gather intelligence to combat corruption.

    “It will coordinate with other law enforcement agencies of the world and act as a nodal agency to coordinate with states’ police forces. It shall be our endeavour to liaise and coordinate with sports federations to build capabilities to tackle match fixing and corrupt practices,” he said.

    Sinha also said the sports ministry is also in the final stages of a drafting a law to tackle corruption in sports and it will help the law enforcement agencies to prosecute the guilty.

    The seminar on “Tackling Match Fixing and Corruption in Football” is a part of endeavour of world football body FIFA and the Interpol, the world’s largest police organisation, to train and educate member associations about preventive initiative.

    Besides representatives from the FIFA, Interpol and CBI, the workshop was also be attended by representatives from Delhi Police and Mumbai police, who had unearthed the match-fixing and betting scandal in Indian Premier League last year.

    The International Cricket Council (ICC) was also represented by its Anti-Corruption and Security Unit (ACSU) chief Yogendra Pal Singh, who is also a former CBI officer. Indian cricket board’s ACSU chief Ravi Sawani was also present.