The Welshman was charged with making the offensive gesture in a picture on Instagram but will face no punishment
Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey did not know what a Nazi salute was when he was charged with making the gesture in an Instagram post, an FA panel has decided.
The 32-year-old Welshman will face no punishment after the charge was found not proven – and the regulatory commission has published its written reasons for the decision.
It remarkably states that Hennessey has a ‘lamentable degree of ignorance about anything to do with Hitler, Fascism and the Nazi regime’.
The goalkeeper, who was pictured with his right arm in the air and left arm above his mouth, always maintained that any resemblance to the Nazi salute was coincidental.
Instead, he insisted he ‘waved and shouted at the person taking the picture to get on with it’ and ‘put my hand over my mouth to make the sound carry’.
From the beginning of the hearing, Hennessey declared he had no idea what a Nazi salute was and the panel considers that a genuine possibility.
“Improbable as that may seem to those of us of an older generation, we do not reject that assertion as untrue,” the panel said.
“In fact, when cross-examined about this Mr Hennessey displayed a very considerable – one might even say lamentable – degree of ignorance about anything to do with Hitler, Fascism and the Nazi regime.
LIVE ON talkSPORT
talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here’s what’s coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2…
- Barcelona vs Manchester United (Tuesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
- Juventus vs Ajax (Tuesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Porto vs Liverpool (Wednesday, 8pm) – talkSPORT
- Napoli vs Arsenal (Thursday, 8pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Sheffield United vs Nottingham Forest (Friday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Leeds vs Wigan (Friday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Sunderland vs Doncaster (Friday, 5:15pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Norwich vs Sheffield Wednesday (Friday, 7:45pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Newcastle vs Southampton (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Accrington Stanley vs Luton (Saturday, 5:30pm) – talkSPORT 2
- Everton vs Manchester United (Sunday, 1:30pm) – talkSPORT
- Cardiff vs Liverpool (Sunday, 4pm) – talkSPORT
“Regrettable though it may be that anyone should be unaware of so important a part of our own and world history, we do not feel we should therefore find he was not telling the truth about this.
“All we would say (at the risk of sounding patronising) is that Mr Hennessey would be well advised to familiarise himself with events which continue to have great significance to those who live in a free country.”
The panel subsequently concluded that Hennessey was indeed trying to attract the attention of the photographer, Jordan Bussolini.