Cronulla Sharks forward Andrew Fifita has been fined $20,000 for showing on-field support for one-punch killer Kieran Loveridge, with NRL authorities warning Fifita he could face deregistration should another similar incident occur.
Fifita was photographed on seven occasions wearing a strap that read “F.K.L.”, which stands for “For Kieran Loveridge.” His relationship with Loveridge, a friend since childhood, has been thoroughly investigated by the NRL’s integrity unit.
Regarding Fifita’s support for Loveridge, who is serving ten years for the 2012 manslaughter of Thomas Kelly, an NRL spokesperson said “our competition cannot be used as a platform to promote inappropriate causes such as this.”
The same spokesperson confirmed that Fifita now knows that “any further material breach of the NRL rules is likely to result in his registration being cancelled”.
Before the Sharks’ successful Grand Final appearance, Fifita defended his armband’s message, saying “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.”
Fifita hasn’t yet given a statement on the matter after today’s ruling.
Source: Daily Telegraph.
Photo: Brendon Thorne / Getty.