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Police arrest 12-year-old boy over racist messages sent to Wilfried Zaha

Written by Konrad Ostrowski

The West Midlands Police have arrested a 12-year-old boy after a series of racist messages were sent to Crystal Palace player Wilfried Zaha on Sunday.

Zaha posted screenshots on Twitter of the abuse he received on the morning of Crystal Palace’s fixture against Aston Villa with the caption “Woke up to this today.”

The abusive messages were sent via Instagram and included a threat to come to Zaha’s house, as well as an image of Ku Klux Klan members burning a cross.

The WM Police Twitter account stated: "We were alerted to a series of racist messages sent to a footballer today and after looking into them and conducting checks, we have arrested a boy.

"The 12-year-old from Solihull has been taken to custody. Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won't be tolerated."

Image Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The Premier League has expressed support for Zaha and any other players or coaches who receive racial abuse, describing the messages as “completely unacceptable”.

Speaking to Sky Sports before their 2-0 loss to Aston Villa, Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson said: "It is very saddening on the day of a game that a player wakes up to this cowardly and despicable abuse.

"I think it is right that Wilf made people aware of it; I don't think it is something he should keep quiet about.”

The issue of racism in football has been highlighted since the Premier League restarted last month with players kneeling in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before every game.

However, this incident is another to add to the long list of examples for why there is a lot more work to do to kick racism out of sport.


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