Messages of support have been sent to Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha after he shared images of racist abuse that he had received on Instagram

Rivalry in sport has always been fierce and for the most part, has simply been to do with the performance of our favourite teams and players on the pitch.

In football, insults have always thrown at rival players, teams and fans but for the most part, it’s fairly lighthearted and once the full-time whistle blows most fans go back to their daily lives.

Unfortunately, however, there are still instances where abuse towards rival players can go way too far and this weekend another of these incidents came to light.

Crystal Palace winger, Wilfried Zaha, took to social media on Sunday, July 12th to share a string of messages that had been sent by a rival fan ahead of Palace’s clash with Aston Villa.

Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Wilfried Zaha racially abused on Instagram

On Sunday, July 12th Crystal Palace star, Wilfried Zaha, took to Twitter and his Instagram story to share a string of racist messages and photos he had received from an Aston Villa fan ahead of Villa’s match against Palace that afternoon.

The messages that were sent to Zaha were sickening and received widespread condemnation across social media.

As well as sharing images of the Ku Klux Klan and a photoshopped image of a box of cereal to show a man in blackface, the Instagram user also sent a string of messages warning Zaha that if he scored against Aston Villa, the poster would “come to your [Zaha’s] house dressed as a ghost.”

Tweet below contains offensive images and language.

Messages of support

The abuse that Wilfried Zaha received was instantly condemned by many on social media.

Former Crystal Palace, Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright, who has also received several racist messages in recent weeks, tweeted:

While Gary Lineker also tweeted in support.

Both Crystal Palace and Aston Villa tweeted in support of Zaha with Villa announcing that the fan responsible for sending the messages would receive a lifetime ban.

A 12-year-old has been arrested

It was announced during the afternoon of July 12th that West Midlands Police had arrested a 12-year-old boy from Solihull in connection to the racist messages sent to Zaha.

In a statement tweeted by West Midlands Police, it was confirmed that “The 12-year-old from Solihull has been taken into custody,” and that “Racism won’t be tolerated.”

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