Referee Bobby Madley’s incident report bodes well for Roberto Firmino

Liverpool v Everton - The Emirates FA Cup Third Round
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Bobby Madley’s post-match incident report indicates that the referee didn’t hear Roberto Firmino use the N-word when shouting at Mason Holgate during Liverpool’s 2-1 win in the FA Cup at Anfield on Friday.

The FA are due to begin their investigation this week by speaking to Mason Holgate, Roberto Firmino, Bobby Madley and fourth official Jon Moss in a bid to unearth the truth. Other Liverpool and Everton players will also be interviewed to piece together a clear picture of what happened on Friday evening.

Firmino is accused of racially abusing Holgate during a heated exchange between the pair after the former was forcibly pushed over the advertising hoardings by the Everton defender.

A lip reader has since analysed video footage captured live on television and surmised that Firmino only called Holgate a son of a b***h in Portuguese.

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Both Liverpool and Everton have offered their full cooperation to the FA to ensure that the truth is discovered but neither club is prepared to comment until a conclusion is met at the end of the investigation.

As things currently stand, there is very little in the way of evidence of Holgate’s claims and many on social media seem to believe the 21-year-old fabricated the event to escape a sending off for his push on Firmino which saw the Brazilian land up in the stands.

Fortunately, Firmino wasn’t injured and neither were any supporters but before we can reach any conclusions ourselves we need to wait for the FA’s painstaking investigation process to take place so that we can be sure of what we’re looking at.

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There is no doubt that Firmino will be handed an enormous fine and a ban to match it should he be indicted. For now, the Reds’ number nine remains innocent until proven guilty and we, as Liverpool fans, should have his back.

Bobby Madley’s post-match incident report, as John Cross of the Daily Mirror indicates, reveals that the referee did not hear Firmino use the N-word and he would have given his proximity to both Holgate and Firmino. Madley also indicated that he would have dismissed Firmino had he heard him being racist.

John Cross finally wrote: “The FA are not expecting any charges, or further developments, until the interview process has been completed.”

Michael Mongie
Just like you, I am a hugely passionate Liverpool supporter. I started Rousing the Kop in January 2015 and since then it has grown tremendously and has even been nominated as 'Best New Football Blog' in the Football Blogging Awards.


  1. Racism is deplorable and cannot be condoned what so ever. From all the evidence thus far it seems the allegations made against Firmino by Holgate are unfounded.
    If the FA investigation come to the same conclusion, will Holgate face any disciplinary action?
    I ask this question because using the “Racist Card” to try and get one of your opponents sent off and / or disciplined, fined etc in my view is just as deplorable and cannot be allowed.

    • I totally agree, Anthony and it’s risking costing other black men and women their voice when coming out with authentic racism claims. I understand that Holgate is young but this is unacceptable and needs to be punished if it’s found to be the case – which we don’t yet know it is!

      • We have to wait! The reason I asked is that I was born in Africa and have lived here my entire life and am a white guy. My parents are originally from Liverpool, but I consider myself African. I have noticed this happening more and more over the years and have experience of this myself.
        Its a great concern because as you rightly said, this would have a massive impact on the anti racist Movement. To be labelled a Racist when you are not has far reaching consequences for professionals who are in the public domain.

  2. If Holgate’s claims are seen to be disgusting lies what punishment should he receive. Perhaps an enormous fine and a ban to match as is being suggested for Firmino if he is actually guilty. At the very least Holgate should be punished for his assault on Firmino which could have caused injury to both himself and onlooking fans.

    • I suggest he should receive a ban for his push on Firmino and perhaps an additional 5 game ban and a hefty fine. That is, of course, if he’s fabricating this – which I hope he is.

  3. If it is confirmed that Mason Holgate told lies to get away with a red card offence he has done a great deal of damage to the anti racisist movement. He has form for his anti gay agenda which strikes me as strange for a mixed race guy. Yes he’s young and hot headed but he needs to attend an anger management course, unfortunately he wont get that advice from Mr Allerdyce.

  4. Holgate never responded to the ‘son of a bitch’ outburst. Firmino said something else after that which sparked Holgate’s reaction. Watch the video again….that is as clear as daylight. Something else was said by Firmino – Fact. Unfortunately the video of Firmino’s mouth is obscured by Kenny and Lallana moving into the shot. Unless there is another video angle Firmino may well get away with what he said. Please don’t try and cover up for his potentially abominable actions and deflect the attention onto the abused. It never worked when trying to protect Suarez and it won’t work now. The rest of the world see right through this and it looks bad on Liverpool’s genuine supporters who are largely anti racism.

    • Just to clarify: I am anti-racism. That shouldn’t have to be said but there is no proof that Firmino said anything racist aside from Holgate’s testimony. The referee was right next to Firmino and heard nothing racist. Innocent until proven guilty.

  5. Even if Holgate was found to be lying to save himself from punishment he won’t get banned. We need to find a cure for the brain-eating disease known as liberalism.

  6. I am anti Racist as well and not trying to cover up anything. However the comment I made was to ask would there be action Taken against Holgate IF his accusations are in fact lies?
    Is it acceptable to be labelled a Racist when in fact you are not?

  7. Mr Holgate and his representatives will come out and say that because of the noise in the stadium he misheard RF. That as I see it is the only way he can attempt to get out of this situation with all evidence stacked up against him ! I see Mr Collymore, who is very outspoken when it comes to racism has urged the FA to throw the book at RF if found guilty, but not a mention of any punishment if Holgate is found guilty of fabrication…strange !!

  8. Holgate said firmino used the n word only because he didnt want sending off .lets just roll clock back ,first he gave away a pen should have been given yellow card ,then he pushed roberto into stands red card and then he grabs the ref 6 match ban .So in my view hes using the racist card to save his skin and hes ruining the game ,yes hes young but that is no excuse for him to jepordise another footballers career putting a stain on his cv

  9. Stu I completely agree with you and if he is found to be fabricating the truth then he should be banned from playing in the UK, as not only has he tried to tarnish someones career but also he has tried to injure him. Can’t imagine firmino being racist as his dad is black so makes no sense at all.


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