Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has condemned the “cowardly and despicable abuse” which forward Wilfried Zaha received on social media.
On Sunday, the 27-year-old posted several screenshots on his social accounts of threatening and racist messages he received to his Instagram page alongside an image of the Ku Klux Klan.
“You better not score tomorrow you black c***,” one message read followed by “Or I’ll come to your house dressed as a ghost.”
Woke up to this today. pic.twitter.com/Zal0F96htJ
— Wilfried Zaha (@wilfriedzaha) July 12, 2020
Both Crystal Palace and Aston Villa tweeted their support to Zaha with the latter confirming that police are investigating the incident and that the culprit will receive a lifetime ban.
Before the game, manager Hodgson praised Zaha for bringing the abuse to light while he condemned the racist messages.
“I think it’s important,” he said in a pre-match interview with Sky Sports.
“I think it is being highlighted very much anyway with the Black Lives Matter movement, and everyone seems to be making such an effort to eradicate this type of behaviour.
“It is very saddening on the day of a game that a player wakes up to this cowardly and despicable abuse.
“I think it is right that Wilf made people aware of it; I don’t think it is something he should keep quiet about.
🗣"It is very saddening that on the day of a game a player wakes up to this cowardly and despicable abuse"
Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson on Wilfried Zaha's tweet about the messages he received this morning pic.twitter.com/vnudVtRirn
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) July 12, 2020
“There is literally no excuse; there is no excuse at all.
“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.”
Aston Villa are currently leading 2-0 after 60 minutes of play in Villa Park in what is a must-win game for Dean Smith’s side.