As of Wednesday the FA announced that Roberto Firmino will face no charges in the incident against Mason Holgate. The association took over a month to deliberate on all the evidence and believe in good faith that Firmino didn’t actually call Holgate a racial slur, which is also something we all knew already. Because of the nature of the investigation, though, Firmino elected to not release an official statement until it had concluded.
That day is today, my friends.
The club just released a statement by Firmino, confirming his silence regarding the matter, and his relief at a successful investigation. It reads:
“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 that matter.
”I am pleased after exhaustive reviews of all the evidence, in this specific incident, the matter is resolved.”
Bobby’s heart is in the right place and surely it’s comforting for him to know that whatever investigative body reviewed the evidence (and there was a lot of it) found him innocent of these charges. Even when the issue was resolved between Firmino and Holgate themselves.