Sam Allardyce’s return to Premier League management was overshadowed by a row over the conduct of Watford’s club mascot, Harry the Hornet, who riled Crystal Palace in mocking Wilfried Zaha after the 1-1 draw at Vicarage Road.
After hitting the headlines in recent weeks for a serious of alleged dives, the pacey Palace winger attempted to win a penalty late in the game following a tangle with Miguel Britos- only to be booked for simulation by referee Mark Clattenburg.
Perhaps in jest, the human insect then proceeded to launch into a controversial mock dive right in front of a furious Zaha immediately after the final whistle, with Allardyce calling in his post-match interview for action to be taken by both Watford and the Football Association over the incident.
Sam Allardyce wants the FA to investigate Watford mascot after diving in front of Zaha. Game has gone ?— BigSport (@BigSportGB) December 27, 2016
“The Premier League and FA can look at that and do what they want to do,” he said. “That’s up to Watford to sort that out really. It could have made the wrong reaction as we know.
“The mascot is out of order, isn’t he? If someone is diving, they don’t get that angry. But I’m concerned about my team and the overall performance.”
While no decision has yet been made over a potential sanction for the mascot, it is understood that an official FA charge is not out of the question.
On the pitch, Troy Deeney succeeded where opposite number Christian Benteke had failed to strike his 100th goal for the hosts from the penalty spot and cancel out Yohan Cabaye’s first-half effort for the visitors.
The two sides sit 10th and 17th respectively in the Premier League following the draw.