FA to investigate whether Roberto Firmino racially abused Mason Holgate in Liverpool's FA Cup win over Everton

Liverpool have said they will cooperate fully with any enquiries

Lawrence Ostlere
Saturday 06 January 2018 02:14
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Referee Robert Madley separates Roberto Firmino, right, and Mason Holgate
Referee Robert Madley separates Roberto Firmino, right, and Mason Holgate

The Football Association will investigate whether Roberto Firmino racially abused Mason Holgate during a clash between the pair in Friday night’s Merseyside derby at Anfield.

The incident in the first half of the FA Cup tie, which Liverpool went on to win 2-1 thanks to a late Virgil van Dijk header, began when Holgate appeared to push Firmino into advertising hoardings which provoked an angry reaction from Liverpool’s Brazilian forward.

Firmino's words during the subsequent altercation clearly aggravated Holgate, who had to be restrained, and afterwards the Everton defender was seen on camera to be complaining of a racial slur to the referee, Robert Madley.

The FA confirmed they will investigate the incident – for which neither player were punished at the time – after Madley confirmed the allegations in his match report, and Liverpool have said they will cooperate fully with any enquiries.

The Everton manager Sam Allardyce refused to comment, saying he had passed the matter to his director of football and adding: “I’m here to talk about the football.”

His counterpart Jurgen Klopp was also guarded, saying: “I don’t really know anything about it. I misjudged it completely because I thought it was about a Holgate foul. I thought they wanted to investigate the Holgate foul.”

The club later released a statement which read: “The club and the player will fully co-operate with the relevant authorities to ensure the facts are established in a thorough manner if deemed necessary or requested. While that process is ongoing we will not be making any further comment.”

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