Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey 'ignorant of Nazis and Hitler'

Crystal Palace’s Wayne Hennessey gestures during their Premier League match against Watford in Lond

Crystal Palace’s Wayne Hennessey gestures during their Premier League match against Watford in Lond

British soccer star Wayne Hennessey has been cleared by the game's governing body of causing offense with a Nazi-style salute - after a disciplinary panel established that the goalkeeper knew absolutely nothing about the history of the Second World War.

'Improbable as that may seem to those of us of an older generation, we do not reject that assertion as untrue.

The Wales global was charged after appearing to perform a Nazi gesture in a photograph posted on Instagram by German teammate Max Meyer.

What's more, the FA also found that the Palace stopper couldn't have possibly been making a Nazi salute, because he doesn't know what Hitler, Fascism or the Nazi regime actually are...

The panel said Hennessey was "able to corroborate" his explanation using photographs, including one that showed his right arm raised and left hand across his mouth in a "similar way" to the photo posted on Instagram, as well as photos of him on the pitch making similar movements to get the attention of his team-mates.

The club had already conducted an internal inquiry and accepted Hennessey's explanation, that he was "making an innocent gesture to attract the attention of the photographer" in a loud, busy restaurant.

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Explaining the decision, the regulatory commission of the Football Association revealed that Hennessey had shown a "lamentable degree of ignorance" about Adolf Hitler and the Nazis when questioned.

Wayne Hennessey's lack of education over Nazi Germany has shocked the FA, and one of his former school teachers has spoken about what the Crystal Palace goalkeeper was like during his school days.

"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".

Meyer was among those who gave evidence, along with Hennessey's manager Roy Hodgson and Palace players Connor Wickham, James McArthur, Julian Speroni, Martin Kelly and Wilfried Zaha.

'It is also relevant, in our view, that no-one else recalls Mr Hennessey playing the fool or trying to amuse (still less trying to offend) by what he did or said. An independent panel came down on the side of Hennessey. Bussolini had apparently been asked to take a number of photos on various smartphones, holding the camera above his head and, at one point, standing on a chair to capture the whole table of Palace players.

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