Roberto Firmino has been cleared of any wrong doing following his FA Cup clash with Everton's Mason Holgate. Holgate alleged that Firmino used discriminatory language against the Everton defender.
The alleged incident occurred after Holgate pushed Firmino into the advertising hoarding, the Brazilian confronted the England defender and a brief melee broke out.
You can clearly see from the video that Holgate is upset with something, but after a full investigation Firmino has been cleared of any charges.
A statement from FA's website reads as follows:
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.
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.
The evidence for the allegation came from Holgate. During a fixture between Liverpool and Everton on 5 January 2018, Holgate alleged that he had heard Firmino use a discriminatory term towards him.
On hearing this, Holgate followed correct procedures by immediately alerting the match referee of the allegation, along with other Everton players who were in close proximity. The incident was formally reported to the match officials following the fixture and subsequently reported to The FA.
We took statements from a total of 12 players and officials from both teams, the match referee and the fourth official. None of these individuals directly heard the words alleged to have been said by Firmino.
Firmino was formally interviewed by The FA and provided an alternative account to the words alleged by Holgate. Firmino stated that he had insulted Holgate in Portuguese, but denied categorically using any discriminatory language towards him.
The FA also details enlisting the help of a linguistic specialist to run the rule over what Firmino was alleged to have said, as well as examining all of the available video angles. The evidence obtained from these sources didn't support Holgate's allegation.
The news will come as a relief to Liverpool fans, who have seen Firmino play a crucial role in their Premier League and Champions League success, notching 21 goals this season across all competitions.