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Man convicted of racially abusing Rio Ferdinand at Manchester United match

A 33-year-old man has been convicted of racially abusing former England and Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand.

Jamie Arnold made racist hand gestures and remarks at Ferdinand whilst the former was working as a pundit for BT Sport’s [now TNT Sports] coverage of the game between Wolves and Man United in May 2021.

A man has been convicted of racially abusing Ferdinand

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A man has been convicted of racially abusing FerdinandCredit: Getty

Mr Arnold was arrested at the scene following the offence on May 23. He denied a racially aggravated public order offence.

However, a two-day trial at Wolverhampton Crown Court saw him get unanimously convicted. West Midlands Police say he will be sentenced on December 8.

The Crown Prosecution Service say Arnold was caught making racist gestures on CCTV, which were also seen by several witnesses in the stands.

Upon the verdict, Ferdinand issued a thank you to the witnesses who testified, Wolves and the police officer dealing with the case.

Ferdinand said in a statement: “I’ve been involved in a Court case at Wolverhampton since MAY 2021, today the guy who racially abused me has been found GUILTY & will now have to face consequences for his actions.

“Racism will only be eradicated when we all work together as a society!

“The prosecution wouldn’t have been possible without all the help/support from the witnesses, @Wolves fans & staff that came forward to testify in court.

“Special thank you to Police Constable Stuart Ward (Football Hate Crime Officer), my family and my team at New Era!

The incident happened at Wolverhampton Wanderers' home, Molineux

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The incident happened at Wolverhampton Wanderers’ home, MolineuxCredit: 2022 CameraSport

“The match was the first game played at Molineux with fans present since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, with Man United winning 2-1 on the day.”

PC Ward, the UK’s first dedicated hate crime officer within a football unit for West Midlands Police, said: “Abusing anyone for the colour of their skin is disgusting and can never, ever be condoned.

“Arnold is old enough to know such appalling behaviour is inexcusable and certainly won’t be tolerated.

“I know from personal experience how being a victim of racism hurts while offenders risk their own aspirations through getting a criminal record.

“I would like to thank Rio for his assistance in this investigation. Through his support, we’ve ensured a man has this conviction to his name.”

Arnold was previously handed a three-year football ban after being found guilty of homophobic abuse and making gestures which mimicked disability.

He was ordered to pay £900 in fines and court costs, according to West Midlands Police.

Ferdinand registered 81 caps for England during his career, as well as making 503 Premier League appearances across his time with West Ham, Man United and Queens Park Rangers.

He won six Premier League titles, the Champions League, a FIFA Club World Cup and three League Cups.


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