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

FOOTBALL By Mirror | July 13th 2020
Premier League - Aston Villa v Crystal Palace - Villa Park, Birmingham, Britain - July 12, 2020 Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha with Aston Villa's Douglas Luiz after the match, as play resumes behind closed doors following the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) [Catherine Ivill/Pool via REUTERS]

West Midlands Police have confirmed a 12-year-old boy has been arrested over the racist abuse sent to Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha.

Zaha took to Twitter on Sunday morning to share the abuse sent to him on Instagram the previous day, with one message reading: "You better not score tomorrow you black ****."

Both Villa and Palace condemned the abuse prior to Dean Smith's side's 2-0 win at Villa Park.

Villa vowed to ban the perpetrator for life, and West Midlands Police have now confirmed an arrest.

They tweeted: "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."

Eagles boss Roy Hodgson supported his player after Zaha took the opportunity to make the messages public.

"I think it's important," he said, prior to the arrest. "I think it is being highlighted very much anyway with the Black Lives Matter movement, and everyone seems to be making such an effort to eradicate this type of behaviour.

"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.

"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."


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