The success of the Indian Premier League in cricket spawned imitations in other sports. There is the Indian Super League in football, the Hockey India League and the Pro-Kabbadi League. In these two, big corporates and individuals are involved.

The others too, have adopted the franchisee-based model. Though still in their early years, the stakes are already high. However, experts do not believe the other leagues getting embroiled in corruption controversies so soon, as unlike cricket, which is a religion in India, these games are yet to become as popular.

Kushal Das, General Secretary, All India Football Federation, said, “It is unfortunate that something like this has happened. We should be careful about these matters. That’s why as soon as the ISL was started AIFF had set up an integrity department. We are cognisant of the fact that there could be similar issues and it’s important for us to protect the integrity of the sport.” A senior executive involved with Mumbai City FC, in the Indian Super League, said, “The structure of the BCCI and the IPL governing council has a lot of ambiguity and lack of transparency, besides there have been issues around conflict of interest. For a league like ISL, from the beginning there has been transparency.”

However, sport observers believe this is a warning for every sport about crossing the line when it comes to betting.

Novy Kapadia, football expert and sports commentator, said, “There’s been a craze for these franchise-based leagues in India and all of them have to be cautious now. This is a concern in modern sport all over the world except in a few advanced countries where betting is legal. If it’s illegal then you have a situation like in India where there’s a mafia operating.”

Experts say that the problems will still exist, albeit on a smaller scale, even if betting were legalised. “There’s no point in taking a moralistic stand about this, you can’t stop it,” Kapadia added.

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