Man jailed for racial abuse of Rio Ferdinand

8 Dec 2023
Rio Ferdinand Wolves v Man Utd

Jamie Arnold sentenced to six months in prison after conviction for abuse at Wolves v Man Utd match in May 2021

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A man has been handed a six-month jail sentence for making racist gestures at Rio Ferdinand in May 2021. 

Jamie Arnold was jailed today after being convicted of racially aggravated public order at the Wolverhampton Wanderers v Manchester United match, where Ferdinand was working as a TV pundit.

Arnold will also serve a seven-year ban from attending any football matches.

"His abuse was unprovoked and completely unacceptable," Ferdinand said in a victim statement read out at Wolverhampton Crown Court on his behalf. "Behaviour like this is completely unacceptable."

Judge Rhona Campbell said Arnold had brought shame on his city and his team.

"Wolverhampton Wanderers do not want a racist on their terraces," she said. "They do not want you as a fan and this city does not tolerate racist behaviour in its midst."

Fighting discrimination

The Premier League will continue to work with our clubs to ensure football is a welcoming and inclusive environment for all, and to ensure any cases of discrimination are reported and investigated, with offenders facing the consequences.

This season the Premier League introduced a League-wide ban for any individual found to have behaved in a discriminatory or abusive way at matches.

We all have a responsibility to challenge racism and so we encourage supporters to continue to play their part by reporting it.

If you witness discriminatory abuse of any kind, you can report it at

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