Sri Lanka Cricket sack three officials over sex bribe scandal
May 28, 2015 09:28 am
Sri Lankan cricket’s governing body on Wednesday announced the sacking of three officials after allegations that members of the women’s national team were asked to perform sexual favours to keep their places.
Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said all three officials were shown the door at the end of their contracts last month after an internal inquiry found two of them guilty of sexual harassment and a third of improper conduct.
The board said in a statement that “there was no evidence of any physical intimacy” by any of the three men, none of whom have been named.
But the investigation had nevertheless determined that “there have been a few incidents of sexual harassment which were committed by two male officials” and that the third was guilty of “improper conduct...which did not amount to sexual harassment,” the SLC added.
Sri Lanka’s sports ministry said at the weekend that criminal prosecutions would follow after its own inquiry had found two team managers demanded sexual favours from team members.
Under Sri Lankan law, anyone found guilty of sexual harassment can face up to five years in prison plus an unspecified fine.
The board said both its own report and the separate inquiry by the sports ministry had highlighted the “unsatisfactory situation” involving the women’s team where there was “favouritism and bias”.
“Both reports have commented adversely on the failure to ensure that a female manager handles the women’s cricket team,” SLC said, adding that they will take appropriate action to “rectify” management issues.
Despite the sports ministry’s weekend announcement, no charges have been brought against any official so far.
“...both reports have concluded that, there have been a few incidents of sexual harassment which were committed by two male officials but that there was no evidence of any physical intimacy and that, there were no grounds to justify criminal proceedings,” the SLC said in a statement.
“Sri Lanka Cricket is very concerned by the fact that, both reports have highlighted the unsatisfactory situation that prevailed in the selection and other aspects relating to women’s cricket and widely prevalent perceptions of favouritism and bias.”
An independent panel was asked by the ministry last November to investigate local media allegations that unidentified players were dropped from the team for refusing to have sex with sports officials.
Cricket is hugely popular in Sri Lanka and the women’s team are regulars in major international tournaments.