Palace and Villa condemn racist messages directed at Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has condemned the racist abuse aimed at Wilfried Zaha, praising his forward for going public with the attack. The Ivory Coast international posted a message on social media ahead of Palace’s Premier League encounter with Aston Villa which showed a number of messages sent to him in a direct message on Instagram.

On Sunday the West-Midlands police confirmed that they had arrested a 12-year-old boy after investigating the messages sent to Zaha. Both Palace and Villa have released a statement, while Villa has ensured that the one responsible for these messages will receive a life time ban from Villa Park or any other club venue or event.

Speaking ahead of the Palace versus Villa match, Hodgson showed his support for Zaha. “I think it is right that Wilfried made people aware of it, I don’t think this is something you should keep quiet about. Obviously the reason is he wants to put off one of our best players playing well today but to do it in the way that he has chosen to do it, I think it is totally inexcusable.”