Crystal Palace goalkeeper Wayne Hennessey "did not know" what a Nazi salute was when he was charged with making one, a Football Association panel has concluded.
Hennessey was charged with making the gesture during a team night out in January after a photo was posted on social media by German team-mate Max Meyer.
The 32-year-old denied the charge, saying he had put his hand over his mouth as he shouted at the person taking the picture and that any resemblance to a salute was "absolutely coincidental."
He requested a hearing with the FA's independent regulatory commission, which cleared him earlier this month.
At that hearing, Hennessey admitted he "did not even know" what a Nazi salute was, according to reasons for the ruling published on Tuesday.
"Improbable as that may seem to those of us of an older generation, we do not reject that assertion as untrue," the panel said in its ruling.
"In fact, when cross-examined about this, Mr Hennessey displayed a very considerable - one might even say lamentable - degree of ignorance about anything to do with Hitler, Fascism and the Nazi regime.
"Regrettable though it may be that anyone should be unaware of so important a part of our own and world history, we do not feel we should therefore find he was not telling the truth about this.
"All we would say [at the risk of sounding patronising] is that Mr Hennessey would be well advised to familiarise himself with events which continue to have great significance to those who live in a free country."
As part of his defence, Hennessey provided photographs which showed him using the gesture during matches as a way of communicating with team-mates on the pitch.
Australian Associated Press