Michael Vaughan stood down from BBC radio show after Azeem Rafiq racism allegations

By Sports Desk November 05, 2021

Former England captain Michael Vaughan has been withdrawn from his BBC Radio 5 Live show amid allegations of racism made by ex-Yorkshire team-mate Azeem Rafiq.

The 47-year-old revealed on Thursday he has been named in a 100-page report looking into claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire made by Rafiq.

Vaughan, who played for Yorkshire from 1993 to 2009 and led England to Ashes glory in 2005, allegedly said to a group of Asian team-mates there were "too many of you lot, we need to do something about it".

Rafiq's version of events has been supported by fellow former Yorkshire player Rana Naved-ul-Hassan. 

Vaughan strongly denies the allegations, but the BBC has confirmed he will not appear on Monday's edition of the 'Tuffers and Vaughan' show on 5 Live alongside Phil Tufnell.

"The BBC takes any allegations of racism extremely seriously," a spokesperson said on Friday.

"We have made the editorial decision that Michael won't appear as a presenter on 5 Live's Tuffers and Vaughan Show on Monday.

"The show focuses on topical discussion around current cricketing matters. Given his personal involvement, we need to ensure we maintain the impartiality of the programme.

"We remain in discussion with Michael and his team."

Writing for The Telegraph on Thursday, Vaughan said: "The allegation came completely out of the blue and more than a decade after it was alleged to have happened made it all the more difficult to process.

"I completely and categorically deny that I ever said those words.

"I responded to the panel by saying I was gobsmacked and that my professional legal advice was that I could not appear before a panel having had just a few hours' notice of such serious claims made against me."

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) on Thursday suspended Yorkshire from hosting international and major matches in response to the club's "wholly unacceptable" handling of Rafiq's racism allegations of institutional racism at the club.

Roger Hutton subsequently resigned as Yorkshire chairman on Friday, stating the club should have recognised at the time the serious allegations.

Gary Ballance has also been indefinitely suspended from international selection after the ex-England batsman admitted he was responsible for some of the offensive and inappropriate language Rafiq was subjected to.

Rafiq and Hutton are due to appear in front of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's select committee to give evidence on November 16.

Publishing company Emerald and kit manufacturers Nike are among the sponsors Yorkshire have lost due to their handling of the Rafiq case.

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