Wilfried Zaha speaks out after receiving racist messages online

Wilfried Zaha, Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha revealed he had received racist messages on his social media ahead of their game against Aston Villa on Sunday. 

PFA member, Zaha took to his personal twitter account on Sunday morning to reveal the extent of the abuse he had received. The messages sent to Zaha included imagery of the Klu Klux Klan, an infamous racist hate group. 

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson spoke to talkSPORT ahead of their game on Sunday, condemning the messages and supporting Zaha's decision to make them public: "I think it's important.

 "It is very saddening on the day of a game that a player wakes up to this cowardly and despicable abuse. I think 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."

The PFA said in a statement: "The posts sent to Zaha ahead of his game were sickening and abhorrent. Players continue to be the target of relentless abuse online. While we are satisfied that the offender has been arrested, the fact a 12-year-old would send such material is deeply troubling.

"Incidents, such as this, only strengthen the case for tighter regulation of social media companies. We call on the authorities to accelerate the process of appointing Ofcom as the regulator to oversee the Online Harms legislation."

Zaha took to his social media again on Monday to thank the West Midlands Police for their assistance in the matter. Zaha went on to state that people 'cannot hide' behind their social media platforms, whatever age they may be, following the arrest of a 12-year-old boy in relation to the matter. 

"People need to understand that whatever your age, that your behaviour and your words come with consequences and you can not hide behind social media. I want to thank everyone for their love and support but enough is enough!"