The Gold Coast Titans are facing a salary cap investigation by the NRL after revelations a payment was made to the family involved in David Fifita’s trespassing incident last December.
The Courier Mail reported the NRL was unaware money had exchanged hands after the Gold Coast’s $3.5 million recruit was caught trespassing on a stranger’s property.
The NRL Integrity Unit’s investigation is ongoing, but Fifita was expected to escape sanction given he was not charged by police.
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However the NRL is now investigating a potential compensation payout, which could have implications for the Titans’ 2021 salary cap.
Titans CEO Steve Mitchell could not immediately be reached for comment.
The NRL’s investigation will centre on whether the money was paid by Fifita personally or the Titans club.
Fifita was arrested by police at approximately 8am on December 27, following reports of trespassing at an address in Clear Island Waters on the Gold Coast.
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Fifita, 20, was invited to a house by a woman, but upon entering was confronted by her father who questioned why he was at the property and called police.
After presenting evidence he had been invited to the address, Fifita was later cleared of any wrongdoing and issued a caution by police.
The NRL’s Integrity Unit conducted an inquiry, but no formal sanctions were announced and the incident was cleared as a misunderstanding.
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Titans coach Justin Holbrook spoke in early January after the incident was effectively resolved.
“Yeah, I did (speak to him). It’s not good but it’s been resolved now,” Holbrook said.
“We’ve got to move on now.”
However the suggestion that a payment was made to the owners of the property has raised further questions about what actually happened.
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The investigation is an unwelcome distraction for both Fifita and the Titans ahead of their 2021 premiership campaign with Round 1 kicking off on March 11.
Fifita has found himself in strife in the past after he was detained in a Bali jail for three days following an incident with a nightclub security guard.
The incident took place while Fifita was at the Broncos and he was believed to have paid $30,000 for his release from jail.
The NRL’s crackdown on player behaviour means Fifita’s place in the Titans team for Round 1 is now in doubt if the investigation reveals any wrongdoing on his part.
Originally published asTitans face NRL salary cap probe over alleged payment in Fifita’s trespassing incident
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