A RIOT Squad officer, who spends his weekends as a junior rugby league whistleblower ,has told of his fear when allegedly confronted by an NRL star.
It’s claimed Cronulla forward Andrew Fifita physically threatened the 24-year-old referee during a game in Sydney’s west on Saturday.
His twin brother David was filling in as an on-field trainer during the game between St Patricks and St Marys in the Penrith Juniors competition when things turned ugly.
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It’s alleged David abused the ref at the end of the game, for not calling time when a player was injured earlier in the match.
His actions, which reportedly included a profanity-filled rant, prompted the ref, who is also a police officer, to pull out his mobile phone and start filming as evidence.
That’s when Andrew stepped in.
In a statement, the referee recounted the incident: “Andrew Fifita looked at me, walked inside the roped off area, and said ‘stop recording that now’.”
“I stepped back and said we’re in a public place and I’m well within my rights.
“Andrew then said, ‘delete that now or I’ll smash you.’
“While saying that, Andrew Fifita charged at me and attempted to snatch my mobile phone which I had in my right hand.
“Numerous people intervened and held Andrew Fifita back, preventing him from grabbing my mobile. He made me feel very threatened and uncomfortable.”
The NRL integrity unit has been notified of the incident which will also be reviewed by Cronulla and the junior rugby league clubs involved.