Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey has been charged with a breach of FA rules for making an alleged Nazi salute in a photo posted on Instagram.

The Wales international was pictured with his right arm in the air in a photo posted by Palace midfielder Max Meyer, who is German. The incident took place during a meal with his team-mates on 5 January.

The Football Association alleges the action breaches its rules relating to abusive, insulting or improper conduct and brings the game into disrepute. It is alleged Hennessey’s is also an ‘aggravated breach’ because it included reference to ethnic origin, race, religion or belief.

Hennessey said any resemblance to the gesture was “absolutely coincidental” in explanation of the image. The goalkeeper said 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”.

“It’s been brought to my attention that 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,” he said.

In fairness to the goalkeeper, there are a number of images online that show him making the same gesture during football matches, with a number of still images of him in games looking like he’s making Nazi salutes. There is even one of him making the exact same gesture when shouting and trying to get someone’s attention.

The FA have given Hennessey until 31 January to respond to the charge.