Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has been cleared of all charges, after he was pictured giving what looked like a Nazi salute at a team dinner in January.
The image was captured on teammate Max Meyer's Instagram story, but the Welshman was quick to offer an explanation, declaring on Twitter: "Yesterday evening I had a meal with my team mates and we had a group photograph.
"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.
This Wayne Hennessey Nazi salute story is 푎푏푠표푙푢푡푒푙푦 푚푎푔푖푐푎푙. Apparently he he "waved and shouted at the person taking the picture to get on with it" and put his hand over his mouth "to make the sound carry"! pic.twitter.com/OB74LfdHjx— Daniel Harris (@DanielHarris) January 7, 2019
"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 ever do that and any resemblance to that kind of gesture is absolutely coincidental."
Hennessey was later charged by the FA, but this charge has now been dropped after an Independent Regulatory Commission was unable to prove he had properly breached FA Rule E3.
In a statement provided by the FA's official spokesperson on Twitter, the governing body explained: "Wayne Hennessey has had a charge against him for a breach of FA Rule E3 found not proven by an Independent Regulatory Commission.
[1/4] Wayne Hennessey has had a charge against him for a breach of FA Rule E3 found not proven by an Independent Regulatory Commission. pic.twitter.com/5V5yA5Wq6M— FA Spokesperson (@FAspokesperson) April 5, 2019
"It was alleged that a gesture he made, which was captured by a photograph and posted on social media, was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute, contrary to FA Rule E3(1).
"It was further alleged that this constituted an ‘aggravated breach’, which is defined in FA Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion and/or belief.
"The Crystal Palace goalkeeper had denied the charge and requested a personal hearing."