Ahead of Crystal Palace’s match on Sunday against Watford, Palace boss Roy Hodgson has dug up old dirt on Watford mascot Harry the Hornet, warning the costumed man to behave himself.
The Watford mascot famously fell to the ground in 2016 while walking past Zaha to mock the Palace man who received a yellow card for a dive earlier in the match. The incident occurred after the match and drew a sarcastic clap from Zaha who did not take kindly to the incident.
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“Zaha does not dive,” said Hodgson during his pre-match press conference. “If you’re asking me whether Harry the Hornet, who I presume is the mascot, should dive in that way, I think it’s disgraceful, because that’s not what football matches are about. And certainly if it’s provoking the crowd into looking for something that’s not there, it should be stopped.”
At the time, Zaha was asked if there was “an agenda against him” to which the Palace winger responded, “I feel that there totally is.”
“It was definitely a penalty,” Zaha said back in 2016. “I was so shocked when the ref told me it was a dive. What was funny was after the game – even though it makes no difference – was that he [Adrian Mariappa] has actually gone: ‘I’ll be honest, Wilf, it was actually a pen.'”
Then-manager of Palace Sam Allardyce called the incident “out of order” but the club was not punished by the Football Association.