“It shall 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 liase and coordinate with sports federations to build capabilities to tackle match fixing and corrupt practices,” he said. When questioned how the unit plans to work when there is no legal framework for probing corruption in sports, CBI officials said a law to tackle corruption in sports is in the final stages of drafting by the Sports Ministry.
“We will send a proposal to the central government on setting this unit. Even though there is no law, we can still carry on enquiries like we did in 2002 in cricket match fixing till law proposed by Sports Ministry comes into being. The purpose is to be prepared when law is there,” a senior official said. Sinha said match fixing and other forms of sports frauds are so far concentrated in the field of cricket. “It is now known to all the enforcement agencies that betting networks operate very smoothly and efficiently in the country. Their tentacles spread even to small towns,” the CBI Chief said.
He said advancement in communication technology is facilitating the growth of betting syndicates. “From the law enforcement perspective, it will be a mistake to conclude that corruption in sports in India is limited to cricket alone. The organised betting racket has to just change their focus to football and the entire football world will have a formidable adversary to deal with”, he said. Some persons recently arrested in Singapore on betting charges are of Indian origin and it would not take long for these groups to shift their operations in India, he said. (PTI)