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Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson tells Watford mascot not to mock Wilfried Zaha

Hodgson warns Watford mascot not to mock Zaha
© Reuters
Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson warns Watford mascot Harry the Hornet not to provoke Wilfried Zaha when the two sides clash at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

Crystal Palace boss Roy Hodgson has warned Watford mascot Harry the Hornet against "disgraceful" provocation of Wilfried Zaha when the two sides clash at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

The mascot mocked the 25-year-old winger by diving to the ground following his booking for simulation during a 1-1 draw on Boxing Day in 2016.

Zaha went on to claim that there was an "agenda" against him after he was also shown a yellow card for diving at Watford in April.

"Zaha does not dive," Hodgson told BBC Sport on Friday.

"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.

"I would be very disappointed if the Crystal Palace mascot was doing something like that to provoke the crowd against an opponent. And if I found out about it, I would stop it."

Former Palace boss Sam Allardyce claimed that Harry the Hornet was "out of order" after the incident in 2016 but the mascot avoided disciplinary action by the Football Association.

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