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Hodgson praises Zaha for going...
Soccer

Hodgson praises Zaha for going public with racist abuse

Conor Breslin
Conor Breslin

19:07 12 Jul 2020

Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has praised Wilfried Zaha for going public, having been the target of "cowardly and despicable" racist abuse on social media.

Zaha, posted screenshots on Twitter from messages sent to his Instagram account ahead of Palace's Premier League fixture at Aston Villa on Sunday.

"You better not score tomorrow you black c**t," one read.

That was followed by a second message reading: "Or I'll come to your house dressed as a ghost."

The Eagles forward was then sent racist imagery, with the Ivory Coast international deciding to share the abuse, collating the messages and tweeting: "Woke up to this today."

Speaking ahead of the game at Villa Park, Hodgson said he supported Zaha's call to make the direct messages public, as well as condemning the content of them.

The former England boss added: "It's been highlighted at the moment anyway with the Black Lives Matter movement and everyone seems to be making such an effort to eradicate this 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.

"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."

West Midlands Police were quick to respond to Zaha's tweet, replying from their official account: "Hi Wilfried, we are looking into who the owner of this account is and would encourage you to report it to your local police force too."

The Premier League posted on social media: "This behaviour is completely unacceptable, and the Premier League stands alongside Wilfried Zaha in opposing this, and discrimination in any form."

Players in England's top-flight have been kneeling in support of the Black Lives Matter movement before every match since the season restarted in June.

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Aston Villa Crystal Palace Premier League Roy Hodgson Soccer Wilfried Zaha

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