Rio Ferdinand: 31-year-old man denies racially abusing former England defender

Jamie Arnold, 31, is accused of using racist words and gestures towards Rio Ferdinand during the Premier League match between Wolves and Manchester United on May 23; trial date set for August 26 at Wolverhampton Crown Court

PA: Rio Ferdinand
Image: Rio Ferdinand was covering Wolves vs Manchester United as a pundit on May 23

A 31-year-old man 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 23.

Arnold, from Stone, Staffordshire, is also charged with making homophobic comments towards the match referee.

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Rob Dorsett reports from court after Jamie Arnold, 31, pleaded not guilty to using racist words and gestures towards Rio Ferdinand during the Premier League match between Wolves and Manchester United on May 23

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 6.

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

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