Rio Ferdinand attends court as fan denies racist abuse

  • Published
Jamie Arnold leaving Wolverhampton Crown Court after he pleaded not guilty to a charge alleging he racially abused Rio FerdinandImage source, PA Media
Image caption,
Jamie Arnold was arrested during the May match and denies racially abusing the pundit

A football fan charged with racially abusing pundit Rio Ferdinand will stand trial next year.

The former England defender was subjected to racist abuse when Wolverhampton Wanderers played Manchester United on 23 May.

Jamie Arnold, 31, of Staffordshire, allegedly used threatening, abusive or insulting words and appeared at Wolverhampton Crown Court earlier.

Mr Ferdinand also attended the court but was not present for the hearing.

Image source, PA Media
Image caption,
Rio Ferdinand went to Wolverhampton Crown Court but was absent from the court room for proceedings

Mr Arnold, from Norton Bridge, near Stone, spoke only to confirm his details and maintain his previous not guilty plea to causing racially aggravated harassment, alarm or distress towards Mr Ferdinand.

He is due to be tried at the same court on 8 August 2022, with Judge Simon Ward apologising the date is "so far in the future".

Judge Ward granted Mr Arnold bail on the condition he not attend any Wolves home games at Molineux stadium, where the alleged offence took place.

Mr Arnold was arrested during the game, which was the first time fans had returned to the ground since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.

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