Controversial forward Andrew Fifita has been warned another slip-up could result in being de-registered after copping a $20,000 NRL fine for his on-field support of convicted killer Kieran Loveridge.
Fifita was photographed on seven occasions playing with the message “FKL” on his wrist this season, believed to stand for “Free Kieran Loveridge”, “For Kieran Loveridge” or “Forgive Kieran Loveridge”.
Fifita was issued with a breach notice last week by the NRL.
“It has been decided to impose a fine of $20,000,” an NRL spokesman said.
“Our competition cannot be used as a platform to promote inappropriate causes such as this.”
Fifita was the subject of a lengthy NRL integrity unit investigation over his relationship with Loveridge, a childhood friend from western Sydney.
Loveridge was sentenced to 10 years’ jail for the unprovoked, drunken one-punch killing of Thomas Kelly in Kings Cross in 2012.
Fifita was snubbed for the Clive Churchill Medal despite inspiring Cronulla’s historic NRL title.
And he was not considered for the end of year Four Nations after NRL CEO Todd Greenberg said Fifita had “failed to live up to standards set by the (Kangaroos) side”.
Fifita was earlier this year given a warning by police about consorting with known criminals.
An NRL spokesman said Fifita had been warned that “any further material breach of the NRL rules is likely to result in his registration being cancelled”.
It remains to be seen how Fifita reacts to the fine.
The NSW Origin prop threatened to walk out on the code to join rugby union after being overlooked for Four Nations.