SHARKS MEDIA STATEMENT
The Club advises that Andrew and David Fifita have been stood down pending further investigation and to allow them and their representatives to fully address matters relating to allegations of inappropriate behaviour at an A Grade Men’s match under the jurisdiction of the Penrith and District Junior Rugby League.
The Club has today received, and is reviewing and assessing, statements from a variety of people present at the match including match officials, participating club representatives, Ground officials and independent witnesses. In assessing these reports it is evident that conflicting versions of events exist.
There is a process which must now be allowed to occur to give the players the opportunity to review that information and respond and that process is underway.
As a part of that process the players have advised they intend to defend the more serious charges levelled against them.
The Club has been advised that the previously reported video evidence of the alleged incident does not exist. The players legal representatives have expressed their frustration in this regard as they were looking to use this evidence to support their case.
The Club reasserts that it takes the nature of the allegations against its players very seriously and is working with NRL CEO, Dave Smith and the NRL Integrity Unit to ensure that due process is allowed to occur and the appropriate sanctions are put in place once all of the facts are established.
The Club advises that out of respect for all of the individuals involved in this matter, including the match officials and the players, this investigation will not be done in the public forum and no further public comment will be made at this stage.