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Wilfried Zaha releases statement after 12-year-old is arrested over vile racist abuse

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

Wilfried Zaha has warned that "your behaviour and your words come with consequences" no matter your age after a 12-year-old boy was arrested for sending vile racist abuse to the Crystal Palace forward.

Zaha shared the messages, sent to him on Instagram, prior to Palace's defeat at Aston Villa on Sunday.

The 27-year-old played in the game and received support from both clubs, with Villa vowing to ban the perpetrator for life before the arrest was made.

Now the former Manchester United winger has called for "action and education" as football continues in its battle to tackle racists.

He wrote in a statement posted on Twitter : "Very disappointed we didn't get a better result yesterday but I wanted to come on here to thank you for all your messages of support.

"I would also like to thank West Midlands Police for their swift action in making an arrest.

"People need to understand that whatever your age, that your behaviour and your words come with consequences and you cannot hide behind social media.

"It is important social media platforms do as they did yesterday and seek out these individuals and remove them.

"This is not the first time I have received messages like this, nor am I the only player to receive messages like this - it happens every day.

"I want to thank everyone for the love and support but enough is enough!

"It is not enough to be disgusted by these messages I received and move on. It isn't enough to just say #notoracism We need action, we need education, things need to change."

West Midlands Police confirmed on Monday that the arrested 12-year-old had been released, but remained under investigation as enquiries continue.


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