Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has protested his innocence. “I can assure everyone I would never do that, and any resemblance to that kind of gesture is absolutely coincidental.” Photo: Eddie Keogh/Reuters

LONDON – Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has been charged by the Football Association after allegedly making a Nazi salute.

In a picture posted on Instagram by his German Palace teammate Max Meyer, Hennessey was seen making what was interpreted as the Nazi gesture as Eagles players celebrated their FA Cup win against Grimsby earlier this month.

Hennessey denies the gesture, insisting he was merely waving and shouting at the picture-taker.

But the 31-year-old was charged with bringing the game into disrepute on Wednesday.

“Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3,” the FA announced on Twitter.

“It is alleged that a gesture he made, which was captured by a photograph and posted on social media, breached Rule E3[1] as it was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.”

In a statement at the time on Twitter, Hennessey protested his innocence.

“Yesterday evening I had a meal with my teammates and we had a group photograph,” he wrote. “I waved and shouted at the person taking the picture to get on with it, and at the same time put my hand over my mouth to make the sound carry.

“It's been brought to my attention that, frozen in a moment by the camera, this looks like I am making a completely inappropriate type of salute.

“I can assure everyone I would never do that, and any resemblance to that kind of gesture is absolutely coincidental.”

Hennessey could face at least a five-game ban if he is found guilty.

He has until January 31 to respond to the charge.

AFP