David Fifita Bali jail: Brisbane Broncos forward released

Broncos forward David Fifita. Picture: NRL

SYDNEY, 12 NOVEMBER 2019 (NRL) – Broncos forward David Fifita said he learned “a big lesson” from the events that led to his three-day incarceration in a Bali jail cell as he spoke to media on his arrival at Brisbane International Airport on Tuesday morning.

The 19-year-old will now provide the NRL integrity Unit with his version of what occurred in the early hours of Saturday morning outside a Bali nightclub which led to security guard Dani Irawan alleging to police that he was struck by Fifita, only to later withdraw the complaint and sign a “peace deal” with Fifita which led to his release.

Fifita was met by his mother Gwen and Broncos CEO Paul White when he landed in Brisbane on Tuesday morning where he thanked all those involved in securing his release.

“There has been a lot going on behind the scenes and I am very grateful for that. It is a great feeling being back home to see my family. I have learned a big lesson from what I have been through the last few days,” Fifita said before exiting the airport with his mother.

White said Fifita had made “a poor decision” to be in a nightclub precinct in Bali at such a late hour.

“I suppose nothing good happens after midnight,” White said.

“What’s played out, the story that has been played out within the media over the last few days, Dave will have a different version of events to that.

“That will be up to the NRL Integrity Unit to validate that independently of ourselves and we look forward to that opportunity.

“Right at the moment, we’re just happy to have him out of that cell in Kuta.

“We understand it was a pretty harrowing experience. David is a good young man and he’s going to learn a very big lesson from what he’s gone through over the last three days.

“I don’t know too many 19-year-old men, his age and of his background, have had an experience like that. As a club, we’ll be there to support him and guide him to make better decisions in the future.”

White said the Broncos did not pay any money to broker the “peace agreement” before adding that any compensation paid “was agreed upon by David’s legal representative over there and David himself”.

“These peace agreements are part of these types of incidents and the settlement of these type of incidents and they do involve an agreement between two parties,” White said.

White said it was too early to say whether Fifita would be sanctioned by the club but welcomed the upcoming NRL Integrity Unit investigation.

“From the moment we were informed we rang them immediately. As it turned out things were constantly changing and we kept them updated with everything that happened,” White said.

“Now is not the time to be speculating about punishments. As a club, we don’t take these incidents flippantly. We take them very seriously and we will work closely with the game … and make our own decisions.

“As I said at the outset I think he made a really poor error of judgement. Nothing good happens after midnight.

“When you put yourself in that precinct you are an identifiable NRL player from Australia and you open yourself up to the risks of that. That is where I think he has really erred.

“What occurred after that … there is a version of events out there and David will have his chance to tell his version to the Integrity Unit and they are the appropriate people because they are independent.”

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