Crystal Palace boss,Roy Hodgson has said his goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey is “desperate” to learn about Adolf Hitler and World War Two after the shot-stopper was accused of posting an offensive gesture suspected to be a Nazi salute.
Hennessey, 32 was charged by the Football Association (FA) after he was pictured with his right arm in the air and left hand above his mouth in a photo posted on Instagram by German team-mate Max Meyer after Palace’s FA Cup win over Grimsby on 5 January.
The case was not proven after Hennessey told an FA panel he did not know what a Nazi salute was and Eagles manager says a lack of knowledge about the period could be “rife” in football.
‘He is actually very desperate now to learn as much as he can, Hodgson said.
Hennessey denied the charge and said any resemblance to the Nazi gesture was “absolutely coincidental”.
It was not proven after two members of the three-man panel believed the photograph had been “misinterpreted” and that Hennessey had been “trying to shout at and to catch the attention of the waiter”.
The keeper had claimed 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”.
Hennessey submitted photographs to the panel of him making similar gestures during matches to attract the attention of team-mates to further show claims that from the outset of the hearing he had no knowledge about a Nazi salute.
‘I don’t quite know what the young generation is learning about it.
‘What is important in that report is that they made it perfectly clear they found Wayne a very honest and kind and good individual,Hodgson said.
The 71 year-old man further said the club would be working with football anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out to improve education not just for Hennessey but for any team-mates who needed to learn about the period.
‘We and Kick It Out work very closely together and between us I think we will be looking for a solution in the case of this one individual, but I would guess that this might be a subject which goes beyond one individual. We might be highlighting with Wayne that it’s actually rife throughout football.
‘I’ve no idea about the level of knowledge in relation to the Holocaust, the Second World War, in other clubs or even in our club. It’s now something we know may well exist and will have to be dealt with.
‘Together the club and Kick It Out we will sort it out,he added.