Rugby Australia have announced the official termination of Israel Folau’s contract following a high-level Code of Conduct breach.
A 3-day hearing was held in April following Folau’s homophobic social media posts last month. The three-member panel found him guilty of a ‘high-level breach’ of the Rugby Australia ‘s Player Code of Conduct.
Israel had appealed the initial dismissal and stood by his right to share his Christian beliefs. "Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club and country." The Australian rugby player has since also lost sponsorship deals with Land Rover and Asics.
Rugby Australia Chief Executive, Raelene Castle commented, “We want to stress that this outcome is a painful situation for the game…Rugby Australia did not choose to be in this situation, but Rugby Australia’s position remains that Israel, through his actions, left us with no choice but to pursue this course of action.’
She added, “When we say Rugby is a game for all, we mean it. People need to feel safe and welcomed in our game regardless of their gender, race, background, religion, or sexuality.
Folau was expected to play in the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan prior to his termination. He has 72 hours to appeal against the decision and could also take the case to Australia’s Supreme Court.
To view the full Rugby Australia statement click here.