/Israel Folau to challenge breach notice over controversial social media post

Israel Folau to challenge breach notice over controversial social media post

Updated

April 17, 2019 13:22:25

Israel Folau will challenge the breach notice Rugby Australia issued him over a controversial social media post, putting the Wallabies star and his employer on a pre-World Cup collision course.

The 30-year-old advised officials he would not accept the notice, which means the matter will be referred to a code of conduct hearing.

Folau came under fire last week after a post on his social media channels declared homosexuals, thieves and adulterers were destined for hell.

Drunks, fornicators, atheists and idolaters also made Folau’s list.

“Only Jesus saves,” the post read.

Rugby Australia’s integrity unit on Monday deemed Folau had committed a high-level contract breach, warranting termination of his employment.

He had 48 hours to accept the sanction or have the matter referred to a code of conduct hearing.

After signing with Rugby for the first time in 2013, Folau went on to become a key player for the Wallabies and was expected to play an important part in the upcoming Rugby World Cup in Japan.

That tournament starts in September.

It was not the first time Folau endured a backlash for posting anti-gay messages on social media.

Last year, he posted that “those that are living in sin will end up in hell unless you repent” on his Instagram account.

When an Instagram user asked about God’s plan for gay people, he replied: “HELL…Unless they repent.”

Rugby Australia issued him a formal warning after that incident.

Folau has also previously declared he did not support gay marriage while insisting he had “love and respect for all people for who they are and their opinions”.

Folau has played 73 Tests for the Wallabies, with his last appearance coming during the spring tour of Europe.

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First posted

April 17, 2019 12:56:16