Rugby Australia cancel Israel Folau’s contract following homophobic post on social media

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DISGRACED Australian rugby player Israel Folau's contract has finally been terminated following his vile homophobic rant on Instagram.

The Waratahs star, 30, said in April that "hell awaits drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters".

Rugby Australia cancel Israel Folau’s contract following homophobic post on social mediaPA:Press Association2 Rugby Australia have terminated Isreal Folau's comments following his homophobic remarks
Rugby Australia cancel Israel Folau’s contract following homophobic post on social media2 This is the controversial post that left Israel Folou sacked

Folau, whose £1.1million-a-year contract with Rugby Australia (RA) was to expire in 2022, was sacked shortly after uploading the post.

But Australia's highest paid player requested a hearing and a three-person panel have upheld the ruling, finding him guilty of "high level breach" of the Professional Players' Code of Conduct.

RA chief executive Raelene Castle says Folau's dismissal is a "landmark" for the sports landscape in Australia.

She also revealed the decision had not been conveyed to Folau directly and he has 72 hours to make an appeal.

Castle said: "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.

"This is a decision that will change the landscape for sport across Australia and perhaps internationally.

"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."

IN EXILE

Folau was expected to take part in this year's World Cup in Japan, but Australia coach Michael Cheika has said he is unlikely to ever feature for the country again.

Meanwhile, Castle added: "This has been an extremely challenging period for rugby.

"This issue has created an unwanted distraction in an important year for the sport and for the Wallabies team.

"But our clear message for all rugby fans is that we need to stand by our values and the qualities of inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork."

'MORE THAN HAPPY'

Folau, who has 73 caps for his country, escaped punishment for similar remarks last year.

And the full-back stood by his last month's comments, despite the case putting his professional career at serious risk.

His controversial post got over 41k likes and 38k comments, many of which expressed disagreement with the devout Christian.

But he refused to apologise and claimed he is willing to accept his axing.

He said: "It's obviously a decision that's in the process right now but I believe in a God that's in control of all things.

"Whatever his will is, whether that's to continue playing or not, I'm more than happy to do what he wants me to do.

"First and foremost, I live for God now.

"His plans for me are better than whatever I can think.

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"If that's not to continue playing then so be it.

"In saying that, obviously I love playing footy and if it goes down that path I'll definitely miss it but my faith in Jesus Christ is what comes first."

However, SunSport told you that Folau could be offered a lifeline by a Super League club, despite the homophobic scandal seriously narrowing his options.

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