MX23RW : Thursday, December 13 02:21:20

Roberto Firmino: 'I know how hurtful racist abuse can be'

Firmino speaks out after Holgate FA verdict
© SilverHub
Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino insists that he knows first-hand how hurtful racist abuse can be after being cleared of abusing Everton defender Mason Holgate.

Liverpool forward Roberto Firmino has spoken out after being cleared of racially abusing Everton defender Mason Holgate during January's FA Cup Merseyside derby.

Holgate accused Firmino of using a discriminatory term towards him after the two players clashed in the third-round encounter at Anfield, which finished 2-1 to the hosts.

The Football Association has investigated the incident and, in a statement released on Wednesday, it confirmed that the Reds forward will not face any action.

In his own statement, Firmino has stressed that the claims were false and that he understands the severity of racist abuse on the football field as he has also suffered from it in the past.

"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," the Brazilian wrote.

"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.

"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."

Everton confirmed that they would accept the findings of the investigation.


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Roberto Firmino in action during the Premier League game between Liverpool and Everton on April 1, 2017
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Firmino cleared by FA in Holgate incident
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1613303462842
2Manchester CityMan City1613214593641
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs16120430161436
4Chelsea16104233132034
5Arsenal16104235201534
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd167542826226
7Everton166642319424
8Bournemouth167272526-123
9Leicester CityLeicester166462120122
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves166461719-222
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham166372325-221
12Watford166372023-321
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton166371922-321
14Cardiff CityCardiff1642101530-1514
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle163491322-913
16Crystal Palace1633101323-1012
17Burnley1633101532-1712
18Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1624101027-1710
19Southampton161691330-179
20Fulham1623111640-249

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