English Premier League side Wolverhampton Wanderers has apologized to former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand after police arrested a man for racially abusing him during a match on Sunday.
The incident occurred as Wolves hosted Manchester United on the last day of the Premier League season, which saw the return of supporters in the stadium. West Midlands police confirmed it had arrested a 31-year-old man for making a racist gesture towards Ferdinand who was at the stadium working as a television pundit. “The last couple weeks, it’s been unreal to see fans back,” Ferdinand posted on Twitter. “However To the Wolves fan who has just been thrown out for doing a monkey chant at me. You need to be dismissed from football & educated. Come meet me & I will help you understand what it feels like to be racially abused!”
Wolverhampton apologized to Ferdinand in a statement saying it was “deeply sorry” for his experience and said the man involved would be banned from attending the stadium for life. The English Premier League allowed fans to return to stadiums on May 17 for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic started over a year ago. The league, in unison with the rest of English football, held a social media boycott from April 30 to May 3 to bring awareness to the racial abuse directed at players.