A 12-year-old boy has been arrested over racist messages sent to footballer Wilfried Zaha.
Zaha, who plays for Crystal Palace and the Ivory Coast, shared screenshots of the Instagram messages on Sunday morning; hours before Palace’s game against Aston Villa at Villa Park.
Although, the messages used highly offensive racist terms and included pictures of the Ku Klux Klan. He however shared them on his Twitter page, with the caption; “Woke up to this today.”
Woke up to this today. pic.twitter.com/Zal0F96htJ
— Wilfried Zaha (@wilfriedzaha) July 12, 2020
West Midlands Police this afternoon confirmed a 12-year-old boy from Solihull has been arrested in connection with the incident.
“Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won’t be tolerated,” a spokesman said on Twitter.
Also, Crystal Palace’s manager Roy Hodgson said he fully supports the 27-year-old’s decision to go public about the abuse and added that both clubs are looking to identify the person responsible.
He 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. There is literally no excuse; there is no excuse at all.”
A Premier League spokesman also added on Twitter; “This behaviour is completely unacceptable and the Premier League stands alongside @wilfriedzaha in opposing this, and discrimination in any form.
“There is #NoRoomForRacism, anywhere. We will continue to support players, managers, coaches and their family members who receive serious discriminatory online abuse.”
There was also an outpouring of support for Zaha from football fans on social media; after his post accumulated thousands of likes and shares.