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Man charged with alleged racial abuse of Rio Ferdinand at Premier League match

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A man has been charged with allegedly racially abusing former Manchester United and England footballer Rio Ferdinand, police have said.

Jamie Arnold, 31, is accused of using racist words and gestures towards the TV pundit during a match between Wolves and United on 23 May.

Arnold, from Stone, Staffordshire, was arrested during the match.

Rio Ferdinand arriving at Wembley for England's Euro 2020 round of 16 match against Germany last month
Image: Rio Ferdinand arriving at Wembley for England’s Euro 2020 round of 16 match against Germany last month

The game was the first time fans had been allowed to return to Molineux – Wolves’s home ground – in over a year due to coronavirus restrictions.

Arnold has also been charged with making homophobic comments and will appear before Dudley Magistrates Court on 29 July, West Midlands Police (WMP) said.

Ferdinand tweeted about the incident during the second half of the game, which United won 2-1, while Wolves said it was “deeply sorry” about what had happened.

The investigation has been led by PC Stuart Ward who was appointed the UK’s first dedicated hate crime officer within a football unit, the force said.

PC Ward is at the forefront of the efforts to stamp out any abuse against footballers and fans, WMP added.