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.