Boy, 12, released under investigation after racist abuse sent to Wilfried Zaha

By Megan Archer | Sandwell | Crime | Published:

A 12-year-old boy arrested in connection with a series of racist messages sent to a Premier League footballer has been released under investigation.

Wilfried Zaha

Crystal Palace player Wilfried Zaha was sent the abuse on Instagram ahead of his side's Premier League match against Aston Villa on Sunday.

The 27-year-old posted screenshots of the messages, which had appeared to come from an Aston Villa fan, on Twitter.

One of the messages showed an image of the Ku Klux Klan with another message reading: ''You better not score tomorrow your black c*** or I’ll come to your house dressed as a ghost.''

West Midlands Police later arrested a 12-year-old boy from Solihull, who has now been released under investigation.

A spokesman for the force said: "The 12-year-old boy arrested in connection with racist social media messages sent to a footballer has been released under investigation while our enquiries continue.

"Racism has no place in society and we're attempting to contact the footballer to obtain a statement."

Aston Villa have promised to issue a lifetime ban to a supporter for the abuse.

Their statement read: "We deplore the disgusting racist messages sent to Wilfried Zaha. We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and stand with Crystal Palace.

"We are working with the police in investigating this extremely serious matter and when the culprit is identified AVFC will issue a lifetime ban."

Megan Archer

By Megan Archer
Chief Reporter - @MeganA_Star

Chief Reporter with the Express & Star. Give me a call on 01902 319363 or email

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