By Keith Hackett

15th Nov, 2022 | 1:38pm

Ex-Fifa official: Referees need specialist coaching to deal with Wilfried Zaha after Crystal Palace controversy

Referees need specialist coaching to deal with Wilfried Zaha’s antics at Crystal Palace, according to Keith Hackett.

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee delivered his verdict after Zaha won an “iffy” penalty during Crystal Palace’s 1-0 loss to Nottingham Forest on Saturday (12 November).

As shown on the BBC’s Match of the Day programme, Crystal Palace were awarded a spot-kick for Scott McKenna’s challenge on the 30-year-old.

He then missed the penalty which allowed Forest to register just their third Premier League win of the season.

“I was surprised at the decision,” Hackett said after analysing the footage with Football Insider correspondent Connor Whitley.

“I think Zaha makes it very difficult for referees because of his exaggeration.

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“If you look, I think he puts his left leg into his opponent first and then there’s a bit of a spinning action.

“I personally believe he was lucky to get a penalty kick.

“He has got a reputation and when you look at it, he’s worked for it and the defender and the referee have fallen for it.

“It looked a bit iffy. If I’m coaching referees, when Zaha goes into the box, they’ve got to move in and squeeze the play in order to get a good view.

“Then what you need is, if it’s not given or given, then VAR needs to review it.

“He’s good at what he does. I’ll tell you, it is not easy for a referee.

“These guys are so good that sometimes they don’t get the penalty kicks when they deserve them. That’s how difficult it is for match referees.”

In other news, Newcastle United has been mooted as a destination for Zaha after a journalist’s transfer reveal.