The incident came in the 40th minute of Liverpool’s 2-1 victory over their Merseyside rivals. Holgate, in the course of challenging Firmino for possession, was seen to have put both hands on the Liverpool forward’s back and shoved him, sending Firmino into the stands. The Brazilian international rushed back onto the pitch and words were exchanged. Based on the Everton player’s reaction, it seems safe to assume that Firmino either used a racially abusive term or that he said something in Portuguese which Holgate believed to be racially abusive.
Neither player was booked as a result of the clash, and it’s expected that the Football Association are waiting to read the official match report from referee Bobby Madley before they launch an official investigation.
In a statement, the club affirmed that they will provide the FA with whatever information or testimony is required.
“The club and 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.”
When asked to comment, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he didn’t know enough about what happened to offer any insight.
“I only heard about something but I can’t say anything about it because so far I couldn’t speak to anybody and I think, from now on, first of all the club will answer. I don’t really know anything about it.”
Everton boss Sam Allardyce took a similar tack.
“Even if I had or hadn’t spoken to Mason Holgate I wouldn’t tell anyone because that’s another area of the authority of the football club. I will let [Everton Director of Football Steve Walsh] deal with that.”
We will, of course, continue to monitor the situation as it unfolds.