Did SLC hoodwink the Sports Minister and Parliament on payments for broadcasting rights for Nidahas Trophy

Did SLC hoodwink the Sports Minister and Parliament on payments for broadcasting rights for Nidahas Trophy

Written by Staff Writer

22 Jul, 2019 | 10:22 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – Documentary evidence has come to light on financial irregularities when awarding broadcasting rights for the Nidahas Trophy.

Former Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage was expecting an oral response from the Minister of Sports on the awarding of broadcasting rights for the Nidahas Trophy tournament has asked a few questions from Minister Harin Fernando.

Minister of Sports, Harin Fernando noted that the question should be directed to someone in the opposition, Thilanga Sumathipala but he would answer anyway.

The questions are

  • Do you accept that payments for the broadcasting rights or sponsorship rights of the 2018 Nidhas Trophy were paid through a third party?
  • If so how much was the commission paid to them?
  • Who approved the payment due to Sri Lanka Cricket, to a third party?

The letter sent by the Secretary of Sri Lanka Cricket, Mohan De Silva declares that SLC does not accept that payments for the broadcasting rights or sponsorship rights of the 2018 Nidhas Trophy were paid through a third party.

It further states that the services of Laguardia Sports was obtained to sell the broadcasting rights of the tournament for a more profitable and higher price in the international market. The letter also states that all payments between Sri Lanka Cricket and the sponsors were exchanged directly between the parties.

It adds that SLC had paid Laguardia sports a sum of USD 35,910 for the services they provided. The letter clearly states that this sum of money was deposited in their account on the 17th of May 2018.

The letter is evidence that this sum of money was paid as a commission.

However, Sri Lanka Cricket had paid a sum of US$339,025 to Laguardia Sports on April 5th, 2018 as commission for the services provided for the Nidahas Trophy.

Has the secretary to the SLC intentionally not included the basis or the specific reasons for these payments to be made to Laguardia Sports?

The disparities in this answer provided by SLC to the Minister of Sports and parliament raises a number of issues:

Did SLC provide false information on these payments when parliament inquired on the move one year after the incident?

Was this letter containing ambiguous facts forwarded to the Minister of Sports and parliament to deceive them?

Is SLC who were embroiled in a controversy over the awarding of broadcasting rights attempting to hide these financial irregularities through this move?

While these issues on the management of the sport of cricket continue to raise their head, the country is still confused on the steps taken over the money to the tune of US$ 187,084 due to the country for the tour of South Africa and the attempt to siphon off US$ 5.5 million to a foreign account.

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