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'Hennessey didn't know what Nazi salute was'

The FA have explained their clearing of the Crystal Palace goalkeeper.

Crystal Palace and Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey
Crystal Palace and Wales goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey

CRYSTAL PALACE GOALKEEPER Wayne Hennessey was deemed to have a “lamentable” degree of ignorance about Adolf Hitler and fascism by the panel that cleared him of a Football Association (FA) charge for an alleged Nazi salute.

Wales international Hennessey was charged by the FA after a photograph showing him with his right arm raised and left hand placed over his mouth was posted to Instagram by his Palace team-mate Max Meyer in January.

Hennessey denied knowingly making the gesture, saying the photo was taken at the moment he “waved and shouted at the person taking the picture to get on with it”, and a hearing in April found the charges against the goalkeeper not proven.

The written reasons released on Tuesday explained why Hennessey did not receive any punishment following the incident.

“Mr Hennessey categorically denied that he was giving a Nazi salute. Indeed, from the outset he said that he did not even know what one was,” said the document.

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

“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.

“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 written reasons also noted Meyer, who is German, would “hardly be likely” to have posted the photograph to Instagram had he felt Hennessey was giving a Nazi salute.

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.

Gavan Casey and Murray Kinsella are joined by Bernard Jackman to discuss Izzy Folau’s impending sacking by Australia and all the week’s news on the latest episode of The42 Rugby Weekly:


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