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Azeem Rafiq: sponsors leave Yorkshire County Cricket Club after handling race line

EXCLUSIVE: Sponsors DEJAN from Yorkshire after their handling of the Azeem Rafiq race dispute, and political pressure is also felt at Headingley after they ruled that ‘P ***’ insulted ‘friendly jokes’

  • An Arla Foods spokesperson told Sportsmail that they will not renew the deal.
  • Anchor’s decision to leave will increase pressure on other sponsors
  • Tetley Brewery and Emerald Publishing are also in talks with Yorkshire CCC
  • One of Yorkshire’s senior players reportedly regularly called Rafiq ‘P ** i’

Yorkshire has lost one of its main business partners and several other sponsors are demanding answers about the club’s handling of the Azeem Rafiq race row that has engulfed Headingley.

A spokesperson for Arla Foods, the Danish food company that produces Anchor Butter, said Sportsmail they will not renew their sponsorship of the county’s 50-plus-year team, while Tetley Brewery and Emerald Publishing are also speaking to Yorkshire about their continued involvement.

Anchor’s decision to leave will increase pressure on the other Yorkshire sponsors to act following the reveal of ESPNcricinfo that the club did not take any disciplinary action against a current player who regularly called Rafiq a ‘P ***’ according to the independent report commissioned by the county on the former spinner’s allegations of racism.

Yorkshire has lost one of its main business partners to the running of the Azeem Rafiq race row club

Yorkshire has lost one of its main business partners to Azeem Rafiq’s race row club management

Emerald has been Headingley’s title sponsor since 2017, while support from Leeds-based brewery Tetley’s dates back decades.

“We are dismayed by the finding of an independent panel that the former player, Azeem Rafiq, suffered racial harassment and intimidation during his time at the club,” a statement from Emerald read.

Yorkshire is also under increasing political pressure. Health Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: ‘Shit is no joke. Heads must roll at Yorkshire CCC. If (the) ECB does not take action, it is not fit for purpose. ”

A spokesperson for Arla Foods, the Danish food company that produces Anchor Butter, told Sportsmail that they will not renew their sponsorship of the county's 50-plus-year-old team.

A spokesperson for Arla Foods, the Danish food company that produces Anchor Butter, told Sportsmail that they will not renew their sponsorship of the county's 50-plus-year-old team.

A spokesperson for Arla Foods, the Danish food company that produces Anchor Butter, told Sportsmail that they will not renew their sponsorship of the county’s 50-plus-year-old team.

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