Tuesday 16 July 2019

Israel Folau starts GoFundMe page to help finance appeal over sacking for anti-gay comments

Israel Folau. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Israel Folau. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Sacked dual-code international Israel Folau has launched a bid to raise €1.84m from the public to fight his legal case against Rugby Australia.

Folau, whose contract with the governing body was terminated in May over homophobic social media posts, has set up a GoFundMe page to raise the three million Australian dollars he says he needs to cover costs in his bid to seek reinstatement.

The 30-year-old, who was on a €2.4m four-year deal with Rugby Australia, says he has already spent more than £50,000 of his own money in fees which are expected to rise to millions of Australian dollars.

As of Friday morning, the fund had raised €204,500.

"I believe the termination of my contract is unlawful, which is why I have started legal proceedings against Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW," Folau, who also posted a video on his own website, said on the GoFundMe website.

"In response, Rugby Australia have already said that they will 'divert significant resources' to fight me in court.

"Even if I win, Rugby Australia can appeal. There is every chance that a prominent test case like this could take years and eventually end up in the High Court of Australia.

"My wife Maria and I have already spent over $100,000 of our own money and that was just to try and deal with Rugby Australia's internal tribunal processes. The money I am asking for is solely to fund the rest of my action in court.

"I know I am putting myself on the line - this action will be very costly in terms of time, money and reputation - but I do not intend to stop now.

"I would be very grateful for your support."

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