Palace star Wilfried Zaha has demanded social media platforms take action against ’racist cowards’ who hide behind accounts. 

The Crystal Palace winger, who grew up in Thornton Heath, has revealed the daily abuse he is subjected to and took the step of posting the details of one sickening racist message he received on Instagram which included images featuring the Ku Klux Klan sent from an account ahead of Palace’s game against Aston Villa.

Zaha said: “Social platforms like Instagram, Twitter… need to make a change, for people to not be able to do this stuff and be held accountable for the stuff they send.”

West Midlands police later arrested a 12-year-old boy from Solihull in connection with the messages.

Crystal Palace in support of the player said it was an ‘absolute disgrace and should not be happening. We stand with you, Wilf, and anyone else who has to suffer such horrific abuse.’

In a social media message Zaha said: “People need to understand that whatever your age, your behaviour and your words come with consequences and you cannot hide behind social media.

“It’s not enough to be disgusted by these messages I received and move on. It isn’t enough to just say #notoracism. We need action, we need education, things need to change.”

Fellow winger Andros Townsend subsequently revealed that several other Palace players had received racist abuse from the same individual.

The team have had a dreadful run of form since returning after the lockdown beating only Bournemouth in the opener before a seven-game losing streak which came to an end with a draw against Tottenham and secured a 14th place finish.

CPFC have said ‘for right price’ Zaha, who wants a move away from Selhurst Park has been given the club’s blessing to leave this summer if the club receives an acceptable offer for their star player.