Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson has opened up on his feelings after being cleared of any wrongdoing following a fiery confrontation with Arsenal defender Gabriel.
Brazilian centre-back Gabriel made a complaint about a comment he alleged Henderson made during Arsenal’s 3-2 Premier League win over Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium on October 9.
Later in the month, the FA confirmed they would not be taking disciplinary action after speaking with both players and six others who were close to the incident.
Video footage was also reviewed and evidence was collected from independent linguistics experts.
‘I understand why I have to be asked about this, but what I tried to do was respect the process,’ Henderson told the Daily Mail.
‘I have spoken before about black players being brave enough to speak out about discrimination so I couldn’t then change my stance. I still feel I need to show respect now, even though it’s been dealt with.
‘I’ve let the FA do what they needed to do and I still feel it wouldn’t be right for me to speak about it. It is just as important to respect the process afterwards as it is during the case.
‘I could speak to you all day about how I was feeling but I have to accept what happened and move on. By the way, that wasn’t easy.
‘There were a million and one things I wanted to say – emotional things – but I think it would have been wrong.
‘It has not changed my mind that people must be empowered to come forward if they feel they have been wronged.
‘It has changed my thoughts a little bit about the person who has been accused but if people feel they have been discriminated against, they must come forward.
‘It would not be right for me to sit here and say how hard it was for me, because there is another person involved as well. It has been dealt with and it was another learning experience in my life.’
Henderson and Gabriel clashed after referee Michael Oliver awarded a penalty to Arsenal in their 3-2 win at the Emirates.
Gabriel reacted angrily and Oliver spoke with both Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta and Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp on the touchline to explain the situation.
Following their ‘full and thorough’ investigation into the incident, the FA said in a statement: ‘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.’
Henderson’s Liverpool return to Premier League action on Sunday against Tottenham, while Gabriel’s Arsenal travel to Stamford Bridge to face Chelsea.
MORE : Paul Merson makes top-four prediction and sends warning to Arsenal
MORE : Real Madrid fear Liverpool have ‘complicated’ deal to sign Jude Bellingham
For more stories like this, check our sport page.
Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on
Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.