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Rio Ferdinand comes face to face in court with man accused of racial abuse

Rio Ferdinand has come face to face in court with a man accused of racially abusing him back in May. The 31-year-old male has issued a plea of not guilty to the charges

Rio Ferdinand was present at Wolverhampton Crown Court (Image: SWNS)

Rio Ferdinand has attended Wolverhampton Crown Court to face a man accused of racially abusing him.

Jamie Arnold, 31, from Stone, Staffordshire, was accused in July of using racist words and gestures towards the former England international.

He has pleaded not guilty.

Arnold will now stand trial next year after denying he racially abused former England defender.

The alleged incident occurred during Manchester United’s match with Wolverhampton Wanderers on May 23, the final Premier League game of the 2020/21 season.

Ferdinand, who was working as a pundit for BT Sport at the match, tweeted during the second half to say he had been abused by a supporter.

Jamie Arnold has pleaded not guilty ( Image:

PA) Arnold was also charged with making homophobic comments after being arrested at the game, which was the first time Molineux had welcomed back fans since the beginning of the pandemic.

Ferdinand was escorted into court by PC Stuart Ward, of West Midlands Police, who is UK’s first dedicated hate crime officer within a football unit.

Arnold was granted conditional bail after a 25-minute hearing on Thursday, until a trial on August 8 next year.

Bail was granted on the condition that Arnold does not attend Wolves’ home games, Judge Simon Ward told the defendant: “Mr Arnold, stand up please.

“I have set the date for your trial on the 8th of August next year.

“I am sorry it’s so far in the future but I have explained why that has to be.”

He only spoke to confirm his not guilty plea, his date of birth, and address.

Ferdinand was not in the courtroom during the proceedings.

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