England: Rio Ferdinand subjected to racist abuse, culprits face 6-month jail term

In a watershed ruling, an English football fan has been sentenced to six months’ detention following racially aggravated behaviour towards former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand.

The incident happened during a 2021 Premier League game between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United, the first after stadiums were reopened following the Covid-19 pandemic. Ferdinand was present at the match as a TV pundit.

Caught on camera, the fan was seen making racially offensive gestures and comments towards the ex-centre-back.

Besides facing half a year behind bars, the supporter has also been banned from attending any football games for the next seven years, a stark reminder of the country’s zero-tolerance policy on hate crimes.

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