PREM ACE ABUSED Boy, 12, arrested for racially abusing Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha called a ‘black c***’ in vile Instagram posts



Posted Monday, July 13, 2020 by Thesun.co.uk

A 12-YEAR-OLD boy has been arrested today after Premier League goalscorer Wilfried Zaha was sent sickening racist messages online.

The Crystal Palace winger posted screenshots of messages which threatened him and called him a "black c***"


PREM ACE ABUSED Boy, 12, arrested for racially abusing Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha called a ‘black c***’ in vile Instagram posts
Zaha reported the horrific racist abuse to West Midlands Police before Palace's game today with Aston Villa Credit: EPA

PREM ACE ABUSED Boy, 12, arrested for racially abusing Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha called a ‘black c***’ in vile Instagram posts
The footballer revealed the sickening abuse online this morning Credit: Twitter@wilfriedzaha

PREM ACE ABUSED Boy, 12, arrested for racially abusing Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha called a ‘black c***’ in vile Instagram posts
The owner of the account appeared to be an Aston Villa supporter

The account is shown to have sent two messages ahead of Palace's game with Aston Villa today with one reading: "You better not score tomorrow you black c***."

The other read: "Or I'll come to your house dressed as a ghost."

A disgusting image of the Ku Klux Klan, a racist hate group based in the US, was also sent to the footballer.

Zaha captioned the screenshots: "Woke up to this today."

West Midlands Police confirmed after the game - which Villa won 2-0 - that a boy, aged 12, from Solihull has been arrested in relation to the incident.

A statement published on Twitter said: "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."

This comes two weeks after the Premier League launched a system to allow players to report online abuse.

Earlier, cops had replied to Zaha's tweet, encouraging the Palace winger to report the sick abuse as a crime.

It read: "Hi Wilfried. We are looking into who the owner of this account is and would encourage you to report it to your local police force too."

PREM ACE ABUSED Boy, 12, arrested for racially abusing Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha called a ‘black c***’ in vile Instagram posts
West Midlands Police said they have arrested a 12-year-old boy in relation to the abuse sent to the Prem star Credit: Getty - Pool

Both clubs were quick to condemn the vile messages and Villa vowed to ban the culprit for life.

An Aston Villa statement read: "We deplore the disgusting racist messages sent to Zaha. We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and stand with Crystal Palace.

"We are working with the police in investigating this extremely serious matter and when the culprit is identified AVFC will issue a lifetime ban."

Palace added: "This is an absolute disgrace and should not be happening.

"We stand with you, Wilf, and anyone else who has to suffer such horrific abuse."

The Eagles boss Roy Hodgson spoke on the matter ahead of kick-off at Villa Park, praising Zaha for making the abuse public.

He said: “It has been highlighted at the moment anyway with the Black Lives Matter movement and everyone seems to be making such an effort to eradicate this type of behaviour.

"It’s very sad that on the day of a game a player should wake up to this cowardly and despicable abuse.

We deplore the disgusting racist messages sent to @wilfriedzaha. We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and stand with @CPFC.

We are working with the police in investigating this extremely serious matter and when the culprit is identified AVFC will issue a lifetime ban. https://t.co/Wx5wJVA1ww

— Aston Villa (@AVFCOfficial) July 12, 2020
"I think it is right that Wilf has made people aware of it, I don't think this is something that you should keep quiet about.

"I think it is very good that our club, Aston Villa and the Premier League are doing everything they can to find out who this despicable individual is and one can only hope that they will get identified and they will get called to account and they will pay for these actions.

"There is literally no excuse; there is no excuse at all. He wants to put off one of our best players from playing well, but to do it in the way he has chosen to do it, it is totally inexcusable."

A Premier League statement said: "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.

"Through our dedicated reporting system we can take immediate action on cases like this."

In response to the arrest, anti-racism campaigner Steve Browne tweeted: "Some instant action and Zaha racial abuse or so it seems….Please do not be shocked at the age."

Fellow footballers posted their support for Zaha with Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker tweeting: "This is abhorrent, and surely a criminal offence."

In May, an Irish teenager was questioned by police after Arsenal and Palace legend Ian Wright shared racist abuse he had also suffered over Instagram private messaging.

And Tammy Abraham was targeted with vile online abuse last night after Chelsea's defeat to Sheffield United - amid calls for social media companies to do more to prevent racist messages.



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