Rugby league bad boy John Hopoate has been suspended by the NSWRL after pleading guilty to striking in a park football match on the weekend.
Hopoate – who carries the ignominious record for being the most suspended player in NRL history – was due to front the NSWRL conduct review panel on Wednesday night, however, elected to accept the four-game ban.
The 44-year-old faces a further three charges for code of conduct offences which will be heard next week and could result in a lengthy suspension.
Footage of the incident emerged on Tuesday as Hopoate, playing for the Narraweena Hawks, punched one opponent and threatened others.
Hopoate can be heard unloading a string of expletives and threatening violence against opposition Forestville players.
In what was his first game for the club in the Manly District Junior Rugby League competition, he lasted just three-and-a-half minutes before being sent from the field.
“I said I’d bash him on the field but what’s wrong with that?” Hopoate later told Fox Sports.
He has been charged with code of conduct offences related to an alleged incident after he was sent off.
“The length of suspension will be finalised when Hopoate faces the NSWRL Conduct Review Panel next Wednesday (1 August) after advising he was unavailable to attend the initial hearing set for tonight (25 July),” the NSWRL said in a statement.
Hopoate has since admitted to Fox Sports he acted like an “idiot” in Saturday’s match.
Hopoate played 209 NRL games for Manly and the Wests Tigers as well as representing NSW and Australia throughout his controversial career.
Hopoate looks dejected as he leaves the field after being sent off for a high tackle on Paul Galloway in 2005. Pic: Getty
In 2001, he was infamously banned for 12 games for poking opponents up the backside while playing for the Tigers.
His career was brought to a sudden end after copping a 17-match suspension for an elbow on Cronulla’s Keith Galloway in 2004.
In 2016, the NRL blocked Manly’s attempt to allow Hopoate to coach the club’s under-18 side because of concerns about his character.