The star of Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast wrote on Twitter, “I woke up today”, then showed what it had been sent by a user who seemed to be a fan of the opponent of Palace during the Sunday match, Aston Villa.
“You better not mark tomorrow as c ** t black. Or I’ll come to your house dressed like a ghost,” wrote the person.
There was an accompanying image of the Ku Klux Klan and a cereal box named “c ** n flakes”.
West Midlands police said on Twitter that they were investigating who owned the account and encouraged the former Manchester United winger to report the incident to their local police.
Crystal Palace called the abuse “absolute shame” on Twitter and said “it shouldn’t happen”.
Aston Villa then retweeted the London club’s statement, promising to impose a lifetime ban on the person who posted the abuse.
“We deplore the repugnant racist messages sent to @wilfriedzaha. We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and support @CPFC,” wrote the Birmingham-based club in central England.
“We are working with the police to investigate this extremely serious matter and when the culprit is identified, the AVFC will issue a life ban.”
Premier League statement
The Premier League, widely regarded as the most-watched football league in the world, has also condemned the offender’s actions.
“This behavior is completely unacceptable and the Premier League stands alongside @wilfriedzaha to oppose it, as well as discrimination in all its forms. There is #NoRoomForRacism, anywhere,” he tweeted. .
“We will continue to support players, managers, coaches and their family members who experience severe discriminatory online abuse. Through our dedicated reporting system, we can take immediate action in cases like this. “
At the end of last month, the league launched the system that “would allow players, managers and coaches to” notify “of serious discriminatory abuses” received via direct messages on social media platforms.
“Each case will be reviewed, reported to the relevant social media company, investigated and legal action will be taken if necessary,” said the league.
Speaking before the match against Villa, Palace manager Roy Hodgson said the man’s actions were “cowardly” and “despicable”. He congratulated Zaha for making it public.
“It is very sad the day of a match that a player wakes up to this cowardly and despicable abuse,” Hodgson told Sky.
“I think it’s fair that Wilf told people about it.” I don’t think it’s something he should be 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 is and we can only hope that they will be identified and called to be accountable and they will make him pay for these actions.
“There is literally no excuse. There is no excuse at all.”
Zaha was the victim of racial violence last year and said she received death threats after winning a sanction for Palace against Arsenal in October 2018.
“Football is very different from what it was in the 1970s, racism is not the endemic thing it was in the 1970s,” said Sanjay Bhandari. “Over a period of 40, 50 years? We have definitely [made progress]. But it’s worse than five years ago, and it’s worse than seven years ago. “
Kick It Out said on Twitter on Sunday: “We are extremely disappointed that Wilf Zaha has again been the target of targeted racial violence.”
“Those who continue to select professional athletes in this way must be brought to justice and suffer the most serious consequences.”