The Football Association has decided not to charge Liverpool’s striker Roberto Firmino following a spat with Mason Holgate in January’s FA Cup Merseyside derby.
Mason Holgate alleged that Roberto Firmino made a racist comment towards him during the Reds’ 2-1 third-round win at Anfield.
Following an investigation, the FA concluded that the evidence was “not sufficient” to charge the Brazilian.
Roberto Firmino admitted that he insulted Holgate in Portuguese, but denied using discriminatory language.
“Having considered all of the available evidence, we consider it is not sufficient to raise a charge against Firmino,” the FA said in a statement.
“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.”
Everton said that they would accept the findings of the investigation.
Everton said in a statement that the club “acknowledges and appreciates the thoroughness of the FA’s investigation”. It added: “The club welcomes the FA’s expression of complete satisfaction that the allegation made by our player, Mason Holgate, was done so in absolute good faith, that proper process was followed and that there is no suggestion of malice or dishonesty on Mason’s part.”
The FA opened its investigation the day after the match, with a statement from the governing body stating the referee Bobby Madley was “made aware of an allegation” during the game and had included it in his match report.
Speaking after the contest, Sam Allardyce, the Everton manager, said: “I haven’t found out exactly what happened. I’m here to talk about football not controversial issues. Even if I had or hadn’t spoken to Mason Holgate I wouldn’t tell anyone because that’s another area of the authority of the football club.”