India vows to curb corruption in sports

New Delhi, May 24 (IANS) The government has long-term plans to curb corruption in sports, Minister of State for Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said Friday.

"We are talking about ways to bring about transparency in all sports," he said as police continued a nationwide crackdown on betters linked to cricket.

"We have a long-term plan and we will use this opportunity with the ministers as well as the secretaries of states to work out some sort of a plan to try and curb this menace," Jitendra Singh said.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the conference of ministers and secretaries of states and union territories in-charge of sports and youth affairs.

The minister stressed that transparency was the key to preventing corruption, be it in cricket or any other sport.

His comments came after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials met Law Minister Kapil Sibal and discussed how to form a new law to check spot fixing in sports.

Asked if BCCI president N. Srinivasan, whose son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan has been served summons by Mumbai Police, should step down pending enquiry, the minister said: "These are all moral issues that they have to think about themselves. My ministry has no control over BCCI or IPL but we need to think about the bigger picture."

Jintendra Singh said instead of blame-game, it was time to make some long-term plans.

"Rather than pointing fingers at individuals, we need to think of a long-term plan," he said.

Asked if betting should be legalised to prevent corruption, he said: "As per the constitution, this comes under the state list. That is the reason why I want to speak to state ministers and secretaries..."

The minister said it was time for all stakeholders to come together and work for the common cause of eradicating corruption in sports.

"We have to take all these stakeholders into consideration but we will all do it together.

"We are all ashamed, we are all worried and it is not just me, the players and the citizens of this country are ashamed. Hence, we will have to try and figure out a solution together," he said.

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