MEPs say the government should withhold ECB funding until it “clears up its action” following the racist scandal


MEPs have decided that the government must withhold financial support from the English and Welsh cricket committees until the game eradicates racism. the excitement of Azeem Rafiq.

Rafiq – who bombed the same parliamentary group last year – welcomed the recommendations, as cricket was faced with the possibility of being introduced into special measures.

ECB, Yorkshire and a number of other county clubs involved in ongoing investigations into discrimination have been warned that money could be withheld unless the game “clears its act”.

The report of the selected Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) highlighted “deep-rooted” racism and criticized Rafiq’s previous attempts to “discredit” it.

Julian Knight, chairman of the committee, and other inter-party members noted the “long and difficult road” when they called on the government to continue with previous threats of financial constraints. “We are closely monitoring and fully intend to ensure that cricket clears up its action,” the report said. “We recommend that the government ensure that all future public funding for cricket depends on continuous, demonstrable progress in eliminating racism in both the locker rooms and the stands.”

After reading the report, Rafiq, who detailed abuses in two spells in Yorkshire from 2008 to 2018, said: “The DCMS committee has listened and taken reasonable action.”

He added that it was “absolutely brilliant” that the board would hold the ECB accountable every quarter. “This shows how seriously politicians take an issue that too many people in cricket have ignored for so long,” Rafiq said. “The board understands how important it is to clean up the game.”

The ECB and Yorkshire will be called in early 2022 to provide evidence of their progress

The Committee called on the ECB to develop a set of key indicators and then keep the Committee informed of its progress on a quarterly basis or face a reduction in government funding. The governing body and Yorkshire will be asked to provide evidence of their progress earlier this year, the committee said.

The demand to “prove their progress” was “also good news”, Rafiq added. “They need to be given a chance to do the right thing, and I am encouraged by Lord Patl’s work since he was appointed President of the YCCC,” he said. “I am pleased that MEPs will monitor any progress so that the reforms needed to integrate sport for all young people can take place soon.”

Nigel Huddleston, the sports minister, told the committee on November 18 that an independent cricket regulator that would control the flow of public money into sports is a “nuclear option” if the ECB fails to arrange its home.

The committee launched an investigation after Yorkshire sparked outrage last October by announcing that there would be no disciplinary action against any individual at the club for Rafiq’s abuse. An investigation commissioned by the club has already shown that “there is no doubt” that Rafiq experienced intimidation and racial harassment during his work in the district.

However, during the November evidence, Rafiq went even further to the committee and burst into tears as he described the “inhuman” treatment he faced.



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