Following a thorough investigation, the Football Association has cleared Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino of racially abusing Everton’s Mason Holgate due to insufficient evidence.
The decision has arrived 47 days after the on-field incident as the governing body prioritised a rigorous inspection of the flashpoint that occurred in the third round of the FA Cup on January 5, rather than a swift conclusion.
The Everton defender raised the claim during a verbal on-pitch alteration with the Brazil international, whom he had just shoved into the advertising hoardings in his side’s 2-1 defeat at Anfield.
Firmino has responded to the judgement, saying: “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.