Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has been charged with bringing the game into disrepute by allegedly making a Nazi salute, the Football Association has announced.
Hennessey, 31, denies making the gesture in a picture posted on Instagram by his German team-mate Max Meyer as the players celebrated their FA Cup win against Grimsby earlier this month.
“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 as it was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.
“It is further alleged that this constitutes an ‘Aggravated Breach’, which is defined in Rule E3, as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or religion and/or belief.
“Hennessey has until 31 January 2019 to respond to the charge.”
Hennessey was seen in the background of a group photograph posted on Meyer’s Instagram story, which has subsequently expired.
The Wales international has denied he was making a such a salute, claiming on Twitter that he was calling out to the person taking the photograph and any resemblance was “absolutely coincidental”.
“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,” Hennessey posted on Twitter on January 6.
“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. Love and peace Wayne.”
Press Association Sport has attempted to contact Hennessey and Crystal Palace for comment.