FA Clears Roberto Firmino of Alleged Racial Abuse of Mason Holgate

After concluding their investigations, the FA will not charge Roberto Firmino over the allegations of racism made against him by Everton's Mason Holgate. 
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After concluding their investigations, the FA will not charge Roberto Firmino over the allegations of racism made against him by Everton's Mason Holgate. 

In a statement, the FA cleared Firmino by claiming there was not 'sufficient' evidence to take the case further, while also maintaining that Holgate's complaint was not an intentionally false one.

The incident under investigation occurred during a heated exchange between the players during the Merseyside Derby on January 5.

After being pushed into the crowd following a battle for the ball, Firmino became angry and shouted at Holgate, who in turn accused his Brazilian opponent of using racist language.

Now, almost two months after the incident took place, the FA have decided not to sanction Firmino, claiming the evidence does not suggest the Liverpool player used discriminatory language, after consulting 12 players and enlisting the help of lip reading experts.

"Having considered all of the available evidence, we consider it is not sufficient to raise a charge against Firmino." The governing body's statement reads on thefa.com.

"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."

Firmino responded to the verdict, and has expressed his delight that the case is now closed - maintaining that racism has no place in football or anywhere else.

"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," Firmino began, via Liverpool's official website.

"Now the process is concluded, I would like to place on record, for the avoidance of any doubt, I did not say the word, or a variation of the word, that was claimed and subsequently reported in the media. I did not use any language that referenced race. I did not - and would never - reference a person’s skin color or culture, by means of insult, during a dispute or an argument.

"There is no place for discrimination on a football pitch, or anywhere else in life for that matter.

"I am pleased after exhaustive reviews of all the evidence, in this specific incident, the matter is resolved."