Israel Folau: Sacked Australian rugby player decides against appeal but could take legal action over dismissal

Folau had 72 hours to appeal his contract termination for using homophobic and offensive language on social media, but he has said that he is still ‘considering all potential avenues’

Monday 20 May 2019 11:06
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Australian MP defends Israel Folau's social media post, despite having not seen it

Israel Folau has chosen not to appeal against Rugby Australia's decision to terminate his contract over controversial social media posts, but the former Wallabies star said he was still considering "all potential avenues".

Folau's £2.15million, four-year deal was ripped up on Friday after an independent panel backed RA's position that the comments he made on April 10 warranted his sacking rather than a fine or suspension.

The 30-year-old devout Christian said on his Instagram account that "hell awaits" for "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters" in a post that remains visible.

Folau had 72 hours to trigger a fresh code of conduct hearing but Rugby Australia said it had not been contacted by Folau and the process had now formally concluded.

"With the Code of Conduct matter complete, Folau's employment contract will be terminated," the statement added.

Folau swiftly responded to say his decision was in "no way an acceptance of the judicial panel's findings".

"The last few weeks and, in particular, the last 72 hours have given me considerable opportunity to reflect and think about my future," he said in a statement.

"I simply do not have confidence in Rugby Australia's ability to treat me fairly or lawfully throughout this process.

"The messages of support from fans, players, former rugby administrators and the public have been humbling."

A report in Australia last week suggested Folau will pursue a different route by taking RA to the Supreme Court.

Folau has decided against appealing his contract termination

"I believe I still have a lot of rugby left in me and the potential impact of Rugby Australia's decision on my reputation and my career is substantial," Folau added.

"Ultimately, I need to do what is best for my family, my teammates and the fans, so I am considering all potential avenues open to me."

PA

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