Azeem Rafiq: Yorkshire admit ex-player was ‘victim of inappropriate behaviour’

Azeem Rafiq
A former England youth captain, Azeem Rafiq captained Yorkshire in a Twenty20 fixture in 2012

Yorkshire have admitted former player Azeem Rafiq was “the victim of inappropriate behaviour” and offered him their “profound apologies”.

An independent investigation into allegations commenced in September, with the ECB writing to the club this week to ask for a copy of the findings.

The club responded by saying “several of the allegations” were upheld.

Yorkshire have yet to publish the report or the recommendations though they have responded to an ECB request for a timeline of publication by stating an aim to disclose the information “in the coming weeks”.

The club said the scope of the investigation went beyond solely examining Rafiq’s allegations, also considering whether they were institutionally racist.

“The investigation has been in depth and far from easy,” the club said.

“Sadly, historically, Azeem was the victim of inappropriate behaviour.

“This is clearly unacceptable. We would like to express our profound apologies for this.”

Rafiq responded to Yorkshire’s statement on social media, questioning the club’s reference to “inappropriate behaviour”.

Yorkshire said they “acknowledge that it has been a distressing and difficult period for those involved”.

“It is inevitable that there is much to digest and we shall have to take advice on the contents of the report,” the club continued.

“We are mindful that in a process of this nature we have a duty of care to all who participated, and we must not breach that duty.

“We aim to publish as much of the report and recommendations as we are able, subject to any legal restraints on doing so.”

In May, Rafiq said he had “lost faith”, stating the process was flawed and that key supporting witnesses had not been approached to give evidence.

Yorkshire said “many witnesses” including Rafiq, current and former players, coaching staff and management, “willingly came forward” to contribute to the investigation led by law firm Squire Patton Boggs.

In a separate process in June, Yorkshire and Rafiq failed to find a resolution in an employment tribunal case.

In that legal claim, the former England Under-19 captain alleged discrimination and harassment on the grounds of race, as well as victimisation detriment to his efforts in addressing racism at the club.

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