The FA have announced that they will take no action following a report by officials that a Liverpool player possibly said something offensive during their recent Premier League game at the Emirates.
[You can read what the whole incident was about in our initial report, along with other updates, below.]
At the time, it was believed that Gabriel had heard something alleged to be racist. The Liverpool defence was said to be that Henderson’s comments had been misheard/misinterpreted and that seems to be the conclusion the FA have come to.
In a statement, the FA said, “Following an investigation into an allegation received by The FA in the Premier League fixture between Arsenal FC and Liverpool FC on Sunday 9 October 2022, The FA can confirm that it will not be taking any disciplinary action.
“The FA received a complaint about an incident involving two players in this fixture. As a result of the complaint, The FA conducted a full and thorough investigation.
“The investigation included taking witness statements from the complainant and accused, along with an additional six players who were within proximity of the alleged incident, reviewing multiple angles of video footage, and seeking independent linguistics experts evidence. None of the witnesses heard the alleged comment, and the player accused strenuously denied the allegation throughout.
“Whilst The FA is entirely satisfied that the allegation was made in good faith, it is equally satisfied that there is no case to answer.
“The FA continues to take all allegations received extremely seriously and would encourage anyone who believes that they have been the subject of or witness to abuse to report this through the appropriate channels. The FA receives a number of complaints in any one season and thoroughly investigates each one that it receives. Following consideration of all of the evidence received, not all cases will result in a charge being issued.”
13 October 2022
Mikel Arteta has said that he backs his players’ retelling of what happened between Gabriel Magalhaes and Jordan Henderson during Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Liverpool on Sunday at the Emirates, which is not at all surprising.
While it is still not clear if The FA plan to open a full-scale investigation into the incidents between Arsenal and Liverpool players on Sunday, there is enough happening with the story to keep the press interested.
As such, Mikel Arteta was asked about it before the game against Bodo/Glimt in Norway on Thursday, while Jurgen Klopp was also questioned.
“It’s something I don’t want to touch,” Arteta replied as a reporter asked which players were involved and who had been spoken to by the FA. “It’s in the FA’s hands and I’m not going to get involved in that.”
He replied “100 per cent” when asked if he was “fully-supportive of your players and their version of events”.
It would have been weird for him to say ‘no’ so I’m not entirely sure of the point of that question.
Klopp, meanwhile, simply replied “Yes,” when asked if Jordan Henderson would be in the right frame of mind to face Rangers in their Champions League game on Wednesday night.
In the end, Henderson came off in the 68th minute, two minutes after Darwin Nunez had scored Liverpool’s third. Liverpool went on to win 7-1 at Ibrox.
To further add to the intrigue, the Daily Express claim The FA are going to hire a lip-reader as part of their investigation.
Why are the FA involved?
The on-field drama did not seem like it was too serious, coming as it did after Arsenal had been awarded a penalty that Jurgen Klopp has since called soft. The managers did not look like they were being asked to calm their players down. Rather, it appeared more like Oliver was informing them of something that had happened and what he’d be doing about it.
It is believed to involve something that was allegedly said by Jordan Henderson to which Gabriel reacted.
The FA have already spoken to Gabriel and Henderson after the match officials report was received.
On Sunday, an FA spokesperson confirmed: “We are aware of an incident that took place during the match between Arsenal and Liverpool. We are in dialogue with the match officials and will review the details of the incident.”
Oliver reportedly interviewed both Gabriel and Henderson after the game and those transcripts were handed over to The FA. The Daily Telegraph report that “One source has subsequently raised the prospect of potentially contrasting interpretations over a phrase that was used.”
According to the report above, Henderson had been expected to do Liverpool’s post-Arsenal media duties, but was ‘taken off’.
Speaking after that game, Mikel Arteta said, optimistically, “It was an incident that happened,” he said. “Whatever happens on that pitch, stays on that pitch.”
It should be noted that it is only a probe at present. It is not clear whether or not The FA will open a full investigation into the matter.
In the gallery below, you can see a series of stills from the incident, including Granit Xhaka getting involved when something clearly angered him, Michael Oliver talking with both managers and then having a chat with Jordan Henderson.