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05th Jun 2019

Wilfried Zaha reveals he receives racist abuse “nearly every game”

Simon Lloyd

“Nearly every game I’m called a monkey or a n*****…”

Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha has revealed he regularly receives racist abuse from the stands while playing football.

In an interview given to The Jackal magazine, the 26-year-old, who only recently highlighted similar abuse he had received on social media, said he was frequently the victim of abhorrent comments during matches.

“Nearly every game I’m called a monkey or a n***** or a whatever,” he explained. “Imagine if I really got down about that?”

He continued: “I don’t know if we’re animals to them or whatever. Why is this okay?

“Why are you saying these things right next to your five-year-old kid? And then, when you leave, what, you’re back to being a normal dad, working a normal job?

“People mask this stuff.”


Zaha’s comments follow a season in which there have been a string of high-profile incidents involving racial abuse in football across Europe.

Several of England’s players were abused during their Euro 2020 qualifier with Montenegro in Podgorica, Danny Rose later remarking that he “can’t wait” to end his career over the repeated failure of the sport’s authorities to tackle to issue sufficiently.

Rose’s England teammate Raheem Sterling has also called on the sport’s governing bodies to do more to combat the problem, acknowledging recently that there was still plenty of work to be done.