Despite an incredible amount of pant-wetting from the likes of Graham Poll and BT Sport’s Jake Humphrey over the penalty Palace were awarded against Manchester City yesterday afternoon, the FA’s specialist panel have decided that no further action will be taken against Wilfried Zaha.
FA will not be taking retrospective action against Wilfried Zaha for his won penalty vs Manchester City. More @MailSport soon
— Kieran Gill (@kierangill_DM) January 1, 2018
As I and plenty of other Palace fans have already said this afternoon, whilst the penalty decision from Jon Moss in yesterday’s lunchtime kick-off was undeniably soft, there is a huge difference between Sterling’s actions not being worthy of a penalty and Zaha “diving” to win it; not that it’s likely to alter the agenda so many across the game seem to have against the 25-year-old.
I’ve said it often enough in recent months but it has become incredibly fashionable to describe Zaha as a “diver” despite an endless amount of evidence to the contrary. Thanks to the incredibly effective hatchet-job that was done on him during his ill-fated stint at Manchester United, countless neutrals have a perception of him which is actually far removed from the truth.
Only a few weeks ago, hundreds of casual observers were screaming for the Palace academy graduate to receive a retrospective two-match ban after being fouled for a penalty against Bournemouth, before it was casually thrown out by the panel. Now, the club’s talisman is forced to endure former World Cup referee Graham Poll wailing on that “Crystal Palace winger Wilfried Zaha dived and deserves a ban… he does it almost every week and needs to be taught a lesson” whilst BT Sport’s Jake Humphrey tweeted “Don’t like to see players doing what Zaha did in the box” both of which are now shown up to be nothing more than baseless moaning based on an unfair stereotype rather than fact.
I dream of a day when Wilfried Zaha is appreciated by all across the game as the supremely talented player he’s grown into. Sadly, it looks a long way off right now.