Boy, 12, arrested after racist messages sent to Wilfried Zaha warning him not to score in Aston Villa v Crystal Palace

Players, including Wilfried Zaha, took a knee at the start of the match. Credit: PA

A 12-year-old boy has been arrested after a series of racist messages were sent to Premier League footballer Wilfried Zaha.In a story posted on his Instagram page, Zaha - who plays for Crystal Palace and Ivory Coast - showed a string of racist message including an image of the Ku Klux Klan.

The 27-year-old also posted the images on his Twitter page with the caption: "Woke up to this today."

Messages sent to Zaha also used racist language and warned him not to score in Sunday's match against Aston Villa.

West Midlands Police said they had arrested a 12-year-old boy in Solihull.

In a tweet they added: "Thanks to everyone who raised it. Racism won't be tolerated."

The match finished 2-0 to Aston Villa.

Before the game began, players, including Zaha, took a knee in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Palace manager Roy Hodgson earlier praised the player for going public having been the target of "cowardly and despicable" racist abuse.

After Zaha posted the messages on social media, anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out tweeted: "We are extremely disappointed that Wilf Zaha has once again been the subject of targeted racial abuse."

"Those who continue to select professional sportspeople in this way, need to be brought to justice and face the strongest consequences #KickItOut."