April 23, 2018 / 5:42 AM / 9 months ago

Palace's Zaha complains of agenda over diving

Soccer Football - Premier League - Watford v Crystal Palace - Vicarage Road, Watford, Britain - April 21, 2018 Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha applauds fans after the match REUTERS/Darren Staples

(Reuters) - Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha has denied diving during Saturday’s goalless draw at Watford in the Premier League and complained there is an agenda to get him banned for simulation.

The 25-year-old has now received eight yellow cards for simulation and was accused of cheating once again after he went to ground in Watford’s penalty box under Adrian Mariappa’s challenge in the second half at Vicarage Road.

“It was definitely a penalty. I was so shocked when the ref told me it was a dive,” Zaha told Sky Sports Goals on Sunday programme.

“What was funny was after the game – even though it makes no difference – was that he (Mariappa) has actually gone: ‘I’ll be honest, Wilf, it was actually a pen.’ I was happy that he admitted that, even if I got a yellow card when I shouldn’t have.

“I feel that there totally is (an agenda against him). I see other players dive, but I don’t see people trying to get them banned the way they want to get me banned. I haven’t been banned so I’m clearly not diving.”

Zaha has previously dismissed allegations that he dives, telling Palace’s website earlier this month that people were “just jumping on the bandwagon” when accusing him of going to ground too easily.

The draw lifted Palace six points clear of the relegation zone into 14th position ahead of next weekend’s home game against Leicester City.

Reporting by Aditi Prakash in Bengaluru; editing by Amlan Chakraborty

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