Cornulla Sharks star Andrew Fifita will escape suspension but will be slapped with a fine over his support for Kieran Loveridge, the man convicted of the manslaughter of 18-year-old Thomas Kelly in 2012.
Fifita met with NRL officials with his lawyers on Tuesday, where he was served with a breach notice and fined a total of $20,000 for the saga. Fifita was accused of wearing armbands during games that read F.K.L. – which he confirmed stood for ‘For Kieran Loveridge’.
Fifita and Loveridge are longtime friends, and both men grew up in similar surroundings. Fifita has insisted that he is merely lifting the spirits of his mate during a tough sentence.
“I was helping out a mate,” Fifita told Fairfax before the Sharks Grand Final win. “That’s all that matters. He wasn’t doing too good at the time. I gave him the boost that he really needs. I know he is doing well.”
He also said at the time that he had no regrets about the saga:
From my belief, and everyone knows the story of my friendship, and my family know what it meant. I have no regrets about that. I know it was wrong from a public’s [perspective] looking inside. I couldn’t speak about it [at the time]. I’m pretty positive and upbeat about it.
Loveridge was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the manslaughter of Thomas Kelly in an unprovoked, drunken attack in Kings Cross in 2012.
Fifta has five working days to respond to his breach notice.
Source: Sydney Morning Herald.
Photo: Getty Images.