Belfast Telegraph

Firmino won't face action after Holgate's racial abuse claims

 

By Carl Markham

Roberto Firmino will not face any disciplinary action after the Football Association announced it had not found sufficient evidence that he racially abused Everton's Mason Holgate during their FA Cup third round tie.

The pair were involved in a flashpoint on the touchline during the clash at Anfield, with Firmino reacting angrily after Holgate pushed him over the advertising hoardings.

The pair had to be separated and the Everton man was then incensed at something said to him by Firmino.

An FA statement said: "Having considered all of the available evidence, we consider it is not sufficient to raise a charge against Firmino.

"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."

Firmino issued a statement welcoming the decision.

He said: "As difficult as it has been to remain publicly silent, given the serious and damaging nature of what it was claimed I said during the game, I did so to demonstrate my respect for the process and to allow the issue to be investigated in the most thorough way.

"It is critical for football that tackling racism and all forms of discrimination is taken extremely seriously. As someone who has experienced racist abuse during my life, I know how damaging and hurtful it can be.

"I did not say the word, or a variation of the word, that was claimed. I did not use any language that referenced race.

"I did not - and would never - reference a person's skin colour or culture, by means of insult."

Belfast Telegraph

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