Roberto Firmino found not guilty of racism towards Mason Holgate as FA investigation ends

Roberto Firmino will face no charges after the Football Association concluded their investigation into allegations made towards him by Everton defender Mason Holgate.

Holgate, 21, alleged that Firmino used racially charged language towards him during Liverpool's FA Cup game with Everton on January 5, the Reds winning 2-1 thanks to Virgil van Dijk's late goal.

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

Cup clash

Holgate and Firmino were involved in a bust up as the defender pushed Firmino over towards the advertising hoardings, Firmino storming back onto the pitch to confront the Everton player.

It was during that exchange that Holgate believed he heard racist language used, but after consulting with several outfield players, the referee and lip-reading specialists, the FA have deduced that there is no case against Firmino.

"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," the FA statement went on to say.

Firmino ready to keep firing

Firmino, Liverpool's second top scorer, now has no worries about being unavailable for the Reds' run-in, with Jurgen Klopp's side battling for a top four place and going deep in the Champions League. 

The forward released this statement on Liverpool's website.

"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.

"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 colour or culture, by means of insult, during a dispute or an argument."