Villa to investigate racist messages sent to Zaha

Aston Villa have said they will work with the police to investigate racist social media messages sent to Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha ahead of their Premier League clash on Sunday.

Zaha, 27, shared the obscene messages on Twitter before the match.

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Villa responded with a social media post: “We deplore the disgusting racist messages sent to Wilfried Zaha.

“We condemn all forms of racial discrimination and stand with Crystal Palace. We are working with the police in investigating this extremely serious matter and when the culprit is identified AVFC will issue a lifetime ban.”

Palace also supported Zaha with a statement: “This is an absolute disgrace and should not be happening. We stand with you, Wilf, and anyone else who has to suffer such horrific abuse.”

Before the match, Palace manager Roy Hodgson was asked about the incident and told Sky Sports: “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.

“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.”

Before kickoff, both sets of players took the knee to support the Black Lives Matter movement.

Since the Premier League returned from the suspension caused by the coronavirus pandemic, playing and coaching staff have taken the knee to show their support for the campaign.

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