The Club continues to work with the NRL Integrity unit in relation to the NSW Police warning this week to Andrew Fifita with regard to his long standing relationship with Kieran Loveridge and letters he wore on his armband in matches earlier in the season.
While the matter remains ongoing the Club can confirm the following:
The player was visited by members of the NSW Police earlier in the week and put on notice that he cease any further contact with Loveridge based on facts the Police had in relation to the latter’s links to other criminal elements.
In talking with the Police, while emphasising that no allegations of unlawful behaviour have been levelled against Andrew, they confirm that they have issued a verbal warning because they are concerned about the potential for organised crime to infiltrate sport through criminal elements and for NRL players to be unwittingly drawn into that web.
Both the Club and Andrew are totally aligned with the police and the NRL in wishing to protect the game from criminal infiltration and Andrew is fully aware of the need for him to accept the directions given to him.
In relation to assertions that letters worn by Andrew on his armband earlier in the season in any way refer to Loveridge being freed the player vehemently denies them.
To the contrary, while acknowledging that he has known Loveridge since childhood, Andrew states, “I fully understand and accept the seriousness of the crime committed by Loveridge, the devastating impact it has had on the Kelly family and the need for Loveridge to serve his time.
“I want to extend my sincere apologies to the Kelly family for any distress caused to them by having this tragic matter back in the media.”
The NRL Integrity Unit has advised that it will interview the player early next week and until such times that this process is complete the Club will make no further public comment.