A 12-year-old boy has been arrested after Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha was racially abused in a series of social media messages before his side’s Premier League defeat at Aston Villa on Sunday.
Zaha posted on Twitter three screenshots of messages containing racial abuse from an Instagram account belonging to a Villa fan. West Midlands Police said after Villa’s 2-0 win that they had arrested a boy from Solihull in relation to the incident.
“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,” West Midlands Police said on their Twitter account. “The 12-year-old from Solihull has been taken to custody. Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won’t be tolerated.”
Villa condemned the abuse and vowed to issue a lifetime ban, tweeting: “We deplore the disgusting racist messages sent to @wilfriedzaha.