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30th Oct 2018

Wilfried Zaha reveals he received racist abuse and death threats after Arsenal penalty decision

Wilfried Zaha was subject to horrific racial abuse and death threats after he conned Granit Xhaka into giving away a late penalty on Sunday afternoon

Reuben Pinder

He discussed the abuse via Instagram

Wilfried Zaha was the subject of much debate on Sunday after he won a penalty in controversial circumstances against Arsenal.

Zaha’s trickery drew Granit Xhaka in to sticking out a leg, offering the Crystal Palace winger an invitation to go to ground that he simply couldn’t go down. Zaha took the hit, went down, and won a penalty.

In the post-match discussion, among both fans and pundits, there was a lot of back and forth about whether this constituted a dive or not.

But beyond the realms of rationality, Zaha was subject to horrific racist abuse on Instagram from rivals fans, as well as death threats to his family, as he revealed on his Instagram story on Tuesday afternoon.

“For all the people taking it one step further and being racist and wishing death on my family I wish you and your families the best too x p.s y life is still very good despite your hate”, Zaha said.

Zaha has had to develop a thick skin over the course of his career, with abuse flying in his direction most weeks. This was yet another example of his ability to rise above it and ignore the hateful comments.

Granit Xhaka admitted that he thought the referee made the right decision to award the penalty in his post-match interview, despite his protestations at the time of the incident.

It’s not the first time Zaha has been subject to racist abuse from rival fans and it likely won’t be the last. Thankfully he has grown a thick skin but it is a stark reminder of the discrimination and vitriol that still pervades football and society more generally.