Azeem Rafiq set for ECB probe after anti-Semitic and homophobic allegations


EXCLUSIVE: Azeem Rafiq is set for an ECB investigation after claims of using anti-Semitic and homophobic language towards team-mates and opponents – with the ex-Yorkshire spinner also accused of fat-shaming children while coaching

The ECB are set to investigate allegations that Azeem Rafiq used anti-Semitic and homophobic language during his playing career, which could lead to the former Yorkshire spinner being put on another misconduct charge.

Sportsmail published explosive claims about Rafiq on Thursday from former team-mates and opponents, who claim the anti-racism campaigner abused players with the words ‘Jew’ and ‘f****t’, as well as fat-shaming children when coaching at Barnsley Cricket Club.

The ECB have indicated their willingness to continue examining historic cases and several of the players are understood to be prepared to provide witness statements to the governing body.

At least one of the claims made against Rafiq has already been reported to officials at the ECB, although the player involved has yet to make a formal complaint.

Rafiq was reprimanded by the ECB earlier this week for using anti-Semitic language after offensive social media posts emerged last November in which he joked that former Derbyshire player Atif Sheikh was reluctant to spend money because ‘he is a Jew’.

Azeem Rafiq is set to be investigated by the ECB after accusations were made against him of using anti-Semitic and homophobic language during his playing career

Azeem Rafiq is set to be investigated by the ECB after accusations were made against him of using anti-Semitic and homophobic language during his playing career

Rafiq was forced to apologise after saying former Derbyshire player Atif Sheikh was reluctant to spend money on a meal because ¿he is a Jew¿ in leaked Facebook messages from 2011

Rafiq was forced to apologise after saying former Derbyshire player Atif Sheikh was reluctant to spend money on a meal because ‘he is a Jew’ in leaked Facebook messages from 2011

The ex-Yorkshire star (right) is also accused of fat-shaming children during a training session

The ex-Yorkshire star (right) is also accused of fat-shaming children during a training session

Rafiq has become a powerful anti-racism campaigner after an independent report found he had suffered racial harassment and bullying at Headingley but now faces accusations himself

Rafiq has become a powerful anti-racism campaigner after an independent report found he had suffered racial harassment and bullying at Headingley but now faces accusations himself

In an adjudication explaining Rafiq’s reprimand, the ECB’s cricket disciplinary commission said ‘they are the only known examples of his use of that kind of language’ and ‘it was a single exchange, not part of a pattern of behaviour’ – a verdict at odds with the new allegations.

Rafiq could face a fine of £2,000 if he is found guilty on a second charge. The 31-year-old denies all the allegations and has claimed they are part of a smear campaign designed to undermine him.

Rafiq is due to appear before a preliminary ECB hearing on Monday in the case of seven former Yorkshire players, who have been charged with misconduct on the basis of his allegations against them. 

His participation in the hearing is in doubt, despite him being the ECB’s key witness, as he is demanding that it takes place in public. 

The ECB are resisting that because it would make much of the evidence they have inadmissible.

Rafiq, who denies the allegations, could face a £2,000 fine if found guilty on a second charge

Rafiq, who denies the allegations, could face a £2,000 fine if found guilty on a second charge



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