Diving and simulation has been a hot topic in football for years and ahead of matches it is not uncommon to see players and managers warn opponents against diving or even alert the referees to a specific player's propensity to dive. Ahead of Crystal Palace's trip to Watford this weekend, Palace manager Roy Hodgson has delivered the latest stern warning against diving.
The only difference is that Hodgson has picked quite an unusual target to issue the warning to... "Harry the Hornet". For those confused as to who Harry the Hornet is, he is the Watford's official mascot and a character who has been no stranger to headlines in recent matchups between these two clubs.
Why is Roy Hodgson beefing with Watford's mascot Harry the Hornet?! 😂😭 pic.twitter.com/qnNyIXMmhO— Football Daily (@footballdaily) August 24, 2018
In Dec. 2016, Harry went viral for mocking Crystal Palace star Wilfried Zaha by diving on the pitch just after the full-time whistle. Zaha had previously been booked in that match for simulation and three years prior, had drawn the injury-time penalty that ultimately won Palace the 2013 Championship play-off final against Watford at Wembley.
"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," said Hodgson. Hodgson continued "But of course teams try to take every advantage they can ... I would be very disappointed if the 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."
Palace play Watford Sunday at 13:30 BST and while eyes are always on the tricky winger Zaha, for one weekend there might be just as many peeled on the Goofy-looking Watford mascot in the bee costume. Regardless Vicarage Road figures to be "buzzing"...