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Prevention of offences in sports bill faces further delay

Iqbal Mohammad Ali, who presented the bill, has tested positive for Covid-19

PHOTO: PSL

A new bill entitled "Prevention of offences in sports act 2020" was presented in the last session of National Assembly, inorder to tackle corruption in sports by drafting laws against it.

Member of the National Assembly Iqbal Mohammad Ali, who presented the bill, was supposed to share details about the bill in the next session of National Assembly.

However, Ali has tested positive for the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) and is currently in quarantine, due to which he was unable to attend the recent session of National Assembly. As a result of which, despite being on the ‘Order of the day’, the discussion on the bill has been moved to the next session of the Assembly.

“I was unable to attend the session due to my illness. I am feeling much better and now the discussion on the bill will take place next week. In the next meeting, I will inform the members [of the National Assembly] about the details and benefits of this bill. After which, the bill will be forwarded to the committee for legislation,” said Ali while talking to Daily Express.

“We want Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to be involved in this process along with retired judges. Their involvement will help in introducing stringent laws against corruption in sports,” he added.

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According to the bill, a special unit will be setup, which will investigate claims related to corruption according to the criminal act. Offences related to corruption in sports will carry a prison term of up to 10 years or a fine of Rs.100 million or both together.

The bill also proposes to punish curators, umpires and match officials who deliberately misuse their authority for financial or other gains.

It must be noted that the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has already forwarded its recommendations, regarding eradication of corruption in sports, to the country’s Primer Minister and the organisation’s Patron-in-Chief, Imran Khan.

A 77-page document, titled ‘Legislation on the prevention of corruption in sports’, was drafted to provide a comprehensive guide about PCB’s Anti-Corruption code while also detailing important aspects of a recent bill passed by the Sri Lankan Parliament — which criminalised several offences related to match-fixing among other things.