Football fan denies racially abusing Rio Ferdinand

Jamie Arnold pleaded not guilty to causing racially aggravated alarm, distress or harassment.
Football fan denies racially abusing Rio Ferdinand

By Josh Payne, PA

A football fan has denied racially abusing former England defender Rio Ferdinand.

Jamie Arnold is accused of using racist words and gestures towards Ferdinand during the Premier League match between Wolves and Manchester United on May 23rd.

The 31-year-old, from Stone, Staffordshire, is also charged with making homophobic comments towards the match referee.

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United – Premier League – Molineux Stadium
Fans were allowed back in the stadium on May 23rd. Photo: Bradley Collyer/PA

It was the first time fans had returned to Molineux since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, following the easing of restrictions.

On Thursday, Arnold appeared at Dudley Magistrates’ Court and pleaded not guilty to causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress.

Wearing a dark grey suit jacket and a black T-shirt, the defendant spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and address and to enter his pleas during the short hearing.

Magistrates granted Arnold unconditional bail to appear at the same court on August 6th.

A trial date was also set for August 26th at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

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