Former NRL player Michael Lichaa has been nominated for The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame after being charged with alleged domestic violence.
Lichaa was taken to hospital recently with severe arm injuries and was later charged with physically assaulting a woman and possibly having an altercation with another man. The presence of the other man led some news outlets to use the term Love Triangle.
The Frownlow Medal is awarded to the player whose off-field demeanour epitomises the values of the modern-day footballer and draws attention to the status of footballers as role models to young Australians. It covers Australia’s four major football codes; the National Rugby League (NRL), Australian Football League (AFL), the A-League (Football) and Rugby Union’s Super Rugby competition. NRL player Shaun Kenny-Dowall won the inaugural medal in 2015, while AFL player Elijah Taylor is the most recent recipient.
The Frownlow Medal Hall of Fame honours former players and players who received media attention in previous seasons, for similarly scandalous behaviour, and its inductees include Ben Cousins and Julian O’Neill.
Police charged the former Canterbury Bulldogs player with common assault (domestic violence), destroying or damaging property (domestic violence) and stalking/intimidation causing fear of physical harm (domestic violence). The Bulldogs recently denied claims that one of their current players, Adam Elliott, was also involved in the violence, as some media outlets have suggested.
Lichaa is the fifth Australia-based footballer currently under investigation for violence against women, and will await the outcome of the police investigation and the decision of Frownlow judges.