Crystal Palace manager Roy Hodgson has sent out a warning to Watford mascot Harry the Hornet ahead of the sides' Premier League clash this weekend, demanding that the colourful character abstains from his trademark touchline antics.
Speaking ahead of Saturday's encounter, via the Guardian, the former England manager sternly recounted the tale of the mascot mocking Wilfried Zaha with a diving motion when the team met in late 2016, and said: "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. If it’s provoking the crowd into looking for something that’s not there, it should be stopped. Wilf Zaha does not dive for penalties.
"He gets knocked over sometimes – sometimes he gets knocked over or unbalanced without it being a penalty or a foul – because he runs at such speed and has such agility with the ball.
"But he certainly doesn’t dive. 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.”
At the time of writing, Mr Hornet is yet to respond to Hodgson's borderline Partridgian comments, and fans will be waiting eagerly to see whether he has any more tricks up his sleeve for the match.
Meanwhile, BBC pundit Mark Lawrenson has predicted that the Hornets will triumph over Hodgson's Eagles on Saturday, claiming that the home side will run out 1-0 winners.
Both sides have enjoyed strong starts to the Premier League season, with the former sitting fourth place with six points, and the latter in tenth with three points.