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Allardyce labels Watford mascot “out of order” for mocking Zaha with comedy dive

Date Posted,December 25, 2016

Sam Allardyce called for the FA to intervene after raging Wilfried Zaha was mocked by Watford mascot Harry the Hornet for falling down.

Winger Zaha, booked for diving in the 87th minute at Vicarage Road after referee Mark Clattenburg ignored his penalty appeal, reacted furiously to the furry cheerleader’s comedy dive under his nose on the final whistle.

He was ushered down the tunnel by Palace backroom staff, but Allardyce – making his return to football after being sacked by England after just 67 days – was not amused.

Big Sam scowled: “The mascot is out of order, isn’t he? The Premier League and the FA can look at that and do what they want to do.

“It could have made the wrong reaction, as we know, but I’m more concerned about my team and their overall performance.

Zaha was furious after being booked (Photo: Getty Images)
Wilfried Zaha of Crystal Palace reacts after a challenge during the Premier League match between Watford and Crystal Palace at Vicarage Road on December 26, 2016 in Watford, England.
The winger was denied a spot kick (Photo: Getty Images)

“I’m more disappointed that we picked up four bookings and we didn’t get two penalties.”

Watford head coach Walter Mazzarri saw the lighter side of the mascot’s jolly jape and smiled: “Let’s all laugh together about this. Everything in football does not have to be a drama.”

Allardyce, meanwhile, will hold an urgent meeting with Zaha this week to determine whether his controversial winger will be off to the African Cup of Nations next month with the Ivory Coast.

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce
Allardyce has called for the FA to intervene (Photo: REUTERS)
Harry the Hornet could be in bother (Photo: Ian Walton / Getty)

Zaha, who has made two friendly appearances for England against Sweden and Scotland as a substitute, has lodged paperwork with world governing body FIFA to switch allegiance to the country of his birth.

Big Sam said: “I haven’t been here long enough to sit down with Wilf and it’s only just popped up today that he might be going to the African Cup of Nations.

“We’ll have to find out next week, but it would be a massive blow if he goes to join the Ivory Coast.”

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