Roberto Firmino won't face discipline as result of Mason Holgate allegation - FA
The English Football Association (FA) have confirmed that they will be taking no disciplinary action against Roberto Firmino in regards to the allegation made by Everton's Mason Holgate.
Holgate had alleged that he heard Firmino direct a discriminatory term towards him during Liverpool's FA Cup tie with Everton on Jan. 5.
However, the FA said on Wednesday evening, nearly seven weeks after the incident, that they had reviewed all of the available evidence and did not consider it sufficient to raise a charge, while believing Holgate's allegation was made in "absolute good faith."
The FA said in a statement: "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.
"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."
The FA say they took statements from a total of 12 players and officials from both teams, referee Bobby Madley and fourth official Jon Moss, with none of the individuals directly hearing the words alleged to have been said by Firmino.
During an interview with the FA, Firmino, a Brazil international, said he had insulted Holgate in Portuguese, but denied using any discriminatory language towards the 21-year-old.
The FA sought the assistance of a Brazilian-Portuguese linguistic expert during the process and also showed two independent Portuguese-speaking, lip-reading experts video footage of the incident from multiple angles.
"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," Firmino said in a statement.
"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."
Meanwhile, Everton accepted the FA's ruling and expressed their gratitude for the thoroughness of the investigation.
They said in a statement: "The club welcomes the FA's expression of complete satisfaction that the allegation made by our player, Mason Holgate, was done so in absolute good faith, that proper process was followed and that there is no suggestion of malice or dishonesty on Mason's part.
"The club also welcomes the FA's commitment to continue to treat all allegations of a discriminatory nature with extreme seriousness. In challenging circumstances, the FA has reached its determination and, as a club, we accept this."
Glenn is ESPN FC's Liverpool correspondent. You can follow him on Twitter: @GlennPrice94.