London (AFP) – Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino will face no disciplinary action following his clash with Everton’s Mason Holgate in the FA Cup third-round tie at Anfield last month.
Officials announced on Wednesday there was insufficient evidence to uphold an allegation of “discriminatory conduct”.
Firmino and Holgate were involved in an angry exchange after the Everton defender pushed the Brazilian into the front row of the stand shortly before half-time of Liverpool’s 2-1 win.
Words were exchanged which left the 21-year-old Holgate incensed. Referee Bobby Madley made reference to an allegation that had been reported to him, understood to be by the Everton defender on the pitch and Everton officials after the match.
That prompted the FA, English football’s governing body, to look into the incident.
However, a FA statement issued Wednesday said: “Following a detailed investigation into an allegation of discriminatory conduct against Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino by Everton’s Mason Holgate, the FA can confirm that it will not be taking any disciplinary action against Firmino.
“Having considered all of the available evidence, we consider it is not sufficient to raise a charge against Firmino.”
But the statement added: “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.”
Everton manager Sam Allardyce was asked in his post-match press conference whether the incident was sparked by an alleged racist comment, but said: “I’m telling you nothing until whatever systems are used to find out exactly what happened and what didn’t happen.
“I’m here to talk about football, not about controversial incidents. I only want to talk about football.
“Anything else outside of that that happens has to be dealt with by the authorities.”