Police Arrest 12-Year-Old Over Racist Messages Sent to Wilfried Zaha
Palace Boss Slams ‘Cowardly and Despicable Abuse’
West Midlands Police have arrested a young boy who sent racist abuse to Wilfried Zaha on social media.
The messages were sent ahead of his side’s match against Aston Villa today (July 12).
Zaha made the abuse public by sharing screenshots to his social media accounts.
Alongside the images, he used the caption: “Woke up to this today.”
Just before 5pm, West Midlands Police released a statement about the incident.
They confirmed that a 12-year-old had been arrested and was now in custody.
The full statement 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.”
The abuse sent to Zaha comes two weeks after the Premier League launched a system to allow players to report online abuse.
However, Palace boss Roy Hodgson supported Zaha’s decision to go public. He added that both clubs are working to identify the individual responsible.
“It is very saddening on the day of a game that a player wakes up to this cowardly and despicable abuse,” said Hodgson.
“I think it is right that Wilf made people aware of it; I don’t think it is something he should keep quiet about.”
He later added: “There is literally no excuse; there is no excuse at all.”
A Premier League statement condemned the action.
It 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.”