The two players had to be separated by
officials during the heated exchange,
with the two exchanging words after
Holgate had nudged the Brazilian into the
The FA subsequently opened an
investigation after an allegation of
discriminatory conduct, but it was
announced on Wednesday that no action
would be taken .
Firmino kept quiet while the probe was
ongoing, but after being cleared of any
wrongdoing, the player released a
It read: “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.
“There is no place for discrimination on a
football pitch, or anywhere else in life for
“I am pleased after exhaustive reviews of
all the evidence, in this specific incident,
the matter is resolved.”
Everton released a statement of their own
following the FA’s announcement, stating
Holgate made his complaint in “absolute
good faith” .