Racism: Police arrest 12-year-old for social media abuse of Zaha

July 13 – A 12-year-old boy has been arrested by police investigating racist messages sent to Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast forward Wilfried Zaha on social media.

Zaha revealed he had received several abusive messages on social media, described by Palace manager Roy Hodgson as “cowardly and despicable”, before Sunday’s trip to Aston Villa.

“It is very sad that, on the day of a game, a player wakes up to this cowardly and despicable abuse. It’s right Wilf has made people aware of it and I don’t think this is something you should keep quiet about,” said Hodgson.

“He wants to put off one of our best players from playing well today, but to do it in the way he has chosen is totally inexcusable.”

Zaha shared screenshots of the Instagram messages on Sunday morning which used highly offensive racist terms and included pictures of the Ku Klux Klan.

Anti-racism campaign group Kick It Out said in a statement: “We are extremely disappointed that Wilf Zaha has once again been the subject of targeted racial abuse.

“Those who continue to select professional sports people in this way, need to be brought to justice and face the strongest consequences.”

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