Yorkshire cricket club signs charter to support Muslim members following racism row

Team had been centre of a racism and bullying row after revelations by former player Azeem Rafiq

The Headingley Stadium complex, home of Yorkshire County Cricket Club. Getty
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Yorkshire have signed a charter committing them to recognising the needs of Muslim players, staff and supporters.

The club is awaiting sanctions over its handling of allegations of racism and bullying by former player Azeem Rafiq and a failure to address the systemic use of racist and discriminatory language over a prolonged period.

The Rafiq case led to major changes in the club’s leadership, with Lord Kamlesh Patel appointed chairman in November 2021 and overseeing a series of governance changes before he stood down in March this year.

That has included working with Nujum Sports, a group that seeks to challenge clubs and organisations to make progress in supporting Muslim sportsmen and women.

Now Yorkshire have signed up to Nujum’s Muslim Athlete Charter.

There are 10 points contained within the charter, such as providing alcohol-free spaces, including during celebrations, the provision of appropriate places to pray, halal food, and accommodating staff and players who are fasting during Ramadan.

Yorkshire’s equality, diversity and inclusion manager Mo Hussain said: “The pledge is another step in fulfilling our commitment to becoming a truly inclusive club.

“Alongside our multi-faith space, providing non-alcohol family stands and provision of halal food, our player changing spaces have also been upgraded to ensure the religious and cultural needs of our players can be met.

“We have been working closely with Nujum Sports for more than a year and look forward to developing this relationship further.”

Yorkshire have admitted to four charges in total related to the racism scandal, with a Cricket Discipline Commission panel holding a sanctions hearing on June 27.

Six former Yorkshire players were sanctioned by the commission last month in relation to the same case, with a seventh – former England captain Michael Vaughan – cleared at the end of March of using racist language towards Rafiq and three other Yorkshire players of Asian ethnicity.

Updated: June 09, 2023, 6:25 PM