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Roberto Firmino racism allegations overshadow Liverpool win over Everton

The Football Association is expected to launch an investigation into allegations by the Everton defender Mason Holgate that he was racially abused by Roberto Firmino during Liverpool’s FA Cup win at Anfield.

Holgate clashed with the Liverpool forward after pushing him over the advertising hoardings in the first half of the home side’s 2-1 victory. Firmino reacted furiously and ran towards the Everton defender, who erupted after something was said by the Brazil international.

Holgate had to be restrained by several team-mates and appeared to complain to the referee, Robert Madley, that a racist term had been used. The match official reported the allegation to the fourth official, Jon Moss, and spoke to the 21-year-old again after the game.

Holgate’s allegation is expected to be included in Madley’s match report, which will be submitted to the FA, who will then determine whether further action is necessary.

A Liverpool spokesperson said: “The club and the 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.”

Firmino was not asked to give a statement after the match but the FA will act if prompted by the match report. Sam Allardyce refused to comment on the incident but Everton’s director of football, Steve Walsh, was involved in discussions with the club’s media department after the Cup tie.

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