Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino has been acquitted by the FA after Everton defender Mason Holgate had accused the Brazilian of using racial slurs towards him, our club has confirmed. Firmino and Holgate clashed during last month’s Merseyside derby at Anfield in the FA Cup. Liverpool won the game 2-1 but the match was outshone by the racial allegations.
Everton’s Holgate claimed that Firmino abused him racially after the pair got embroiled in a mini-tussle. But after reviewing for over a month, the FA has cleared Firmino of any illegal behaviour.
“Having considered all of the available evidence, we consider it is not sufficient to raise a charge against Firmino,” read a statement on the FA’s official website (h/t The Daily Star).
“However, we are completely satisfied that the allegation was made in absolute good faith by Holgate and that there is no suggestion of this being an intentionally false or malicious allegation.
“We continue to take all allegations of discrimination extremely seriously and would encourage all participants who believe that they have been the subject of or witness to discriminatory abuse to report this through the appropriate channels.
“Holgate and Everton followed the proper process by reporting the matter to the match officials at the time and subsequently to The FA.
“We receive a significant number of complaints of discrimination in any one season and thoroughly investigate all complaints we receive. Following consideration of all of the evidence received, not all cases will result in a charge being issued.”
Liverpool also released a statement following the FA’s decision. It read:
“We thank Roberto for the manner in which he has conducted himself during this difficult process, acknowledging that being subjected to such a serious allegation for this length of time has been hurtful to him and his family.
“Both the club and player were in full agreement from the beginning that if an investigation was required it should be a thorough and robust one.
“Roberto has co-operated fully with the process and shown a willingness to engage and assist throughout, with the only objective being to discover the truth of what happened.
“We are satisfied that the outcome of the process has exonerated the player of using any racist or discriminatory language.”
It was tough for Firmino to be silent during the whole month as the charges were made against him but after FA’s systematic review, the Brazilian has not been found guilty.
There’s absolutely no place for discrimination not only on a football pitch but also in other walks of life.