/Israel Folaus rugby contract torn up in punishment for code breach

Israel Folaus rugby contract torn up in punishment for code breach

Updated

May 17, 2019 15:17:28

Israel Folau’s Australian rugby union career appears over, after a three-person panel ordered that the Wallabies star’s four-year contract be terminated as punishment for his breach of the players’ code of conduct.

Key points:

  • Folau was stood down by Rugby Australia last month in the wake of his social media posts
  • His professional sporting career is now in limbo
  • His chances of moving back to the NRL were ruled out last month

The panel, which this month ruled that Folau was guilty of a “high-level breach” of the players’ code over his controversial Instagram posts, including one proclaiming hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters”, decided to rip up the 30-year-old’s four-year, $4 million contract.

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said the decision had not been directly communicated to Folau.

“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 the course of action resulting in today’s outcome,” Castle said.

“Our clear message today is that we need to stand by our values and the qualities of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork.

“People need to feel safe and welcomed in the game, regardless of their race, background or sexuality.”

Castle confirmed Folau has 72 hours to appeal the decision, but would not comment on reports he plans to take the case to the Supreme Court.

She said the Wallabies star knew his social media posts would have wider implications “when he pressed that button”.

“This is a decision that will change the landscape for sport across Australia and perhaps internationally,” she said.

“It will be landmark, it will be important, and it is a big decision.

“He is a very important player in our game and he has been for a long period of time and we wanted to make sure we took the time to get it right.”

Folau’s football future in limbo

Folau, who played 73 Tests for the Wallabies, fronted a three-person tribunal at the beginning of May, comprising of chair John West, Rugby Australia’s representative, Kate Eastman, and the Rugby Union Players’ Association-appointed John Boultbee.

The 30-year-old was stood down by RA last month in the wake of his social media posts.

He was then issued with a code of conduct breach notice recommending his four-year contract worth a $4 million be terminated, which he decided to challenge.

Folau’s professional sporting career is now in limbo, with a move to European or Japanese club rugby union hardly guaranteed.

His chances of moving back to the NRL were ruled out last month after the league said the Australia and Queensland rugby league representative did not pass the code’s “inclusiveness culture”.

More to come.

Topics:

sport,

super-rugby,

rugby-union,

community-and-society,

religion-and-beliefs,

sydney-2000,

nsw,

australia

First posted

May 17, 2019 15:00:28