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18, April 2019

Ignorance IS an excuse. The Hennessey defence

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Billy Scran reprising his famous Charlie Chaplin impression. Or is he?

Billy Scran reprising his famous Charlie Chaplin impression. Or is he?

A Football Association panel found Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey, 32, not guilty of making a Nazi salute. Hennessey claimed he did not know what a Nazi salute was.

The panel believed him and said it was the only “plausible explanation”.

Billy Scran, 29, Centre Half with Antsy Northern Athletic, a team wallowing in the lower divisions, was also brought in front of an FA panel. He was accused of making the gesture of putting his forefinger over his upper lift to the referee after a decision had gone against his team.

He claimed he thought Adolf Hitler was a baddy in a James Bond novel. He said his gesture was to imitate Charlie Chaplin implying to the ref that his decision was a joke.

The FA panel thought his excuse was the only “plausible explanation”.

In another case, an FA panel found a whole team not guilty of goose-stepping around the ground after a win over a German side. The team claimed the movement was an exercise they did after a match to relax their leg muscles.

Only two members of the team said they knew what a fascist was. One said it was a person who suffered from a type of mental illness. The other thought it was a term of abuse he had heard directed at a banker but he didn’t think it was as severe as ‘fucker’.

The panel said although it seemed unlikely that an entire football team could be so ignorant of modern history, it was the only “plausible explanation”.

A spokesperson for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “These are internal FA panel decisions and ‘ignorance as a defence’ will not pass into common law as it is upheld and enforced.”

They added: “Regarding these decisions; that the FA has such a low expectation of the knowledge, education and intelligence of players is the only ‘plausible explanation’.”

An FA spokesman said sweet FA.


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