Folau code of conduct hearing set for May 4

A code of conduct hearing to determine the fate of Wallabies fullback Israel Folau will be held on May 4 after Rugby Australia’s decision to sack him over anti-gay comments, it was announced Monday.

The devoutly religious Folau was informed last week of plans to terminate his multi-year, multi-million-dollar contract after posting on social media that “hell awaits” homosexuals.

Super Rugby’s all-time record try scorer had the choice of accepting the decision or challenging it through a tribunal, and opted for the latter.

READ MORE: Folau handed sack notice over anti-gay comments

“Rugby Australia has today confirmed the code of conduct hearing for Wallabies and Waratahs back Israel Folau will commence on Saturday May 4,” the governing body said.

It will be heard behind closed doors in Sydney by a three-member panel — John West, Kate Eastman, and John Boultbee — with an extra day set aside in case needed.

West is an employment law expert and senior counsel, while Eastman specialises in workplace discrimination. Boultbee is a lawyer and highly-regarded sports administrator.

They will consider the case and decide what punishment, if any, is appropriate — ranging from a fine to a suspension or the sack.

Folau asserted on his Instagram account that “hell awaits” “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators”.

It sparked widespread criticism, including from key Wallabies sponsor Qantas, with the scandal following a similar one last year in which he escaped sanction.

Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle has said Folau had been repeatedly warned about his social media use but ignored the overtures and refused to apologise.

She contends it was “a high-level breach” of the Professional Players’ Code of Conduct which warranted his contract being terminated.

Legal experts have suggested freedom of speech and religious freedom issues could form part of his defence.

Folau — the sport’s most marketable player before the row exploded — has played 73 times for the Wallabies and was a key part of their plans for the World Cup in Japan this year.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has said it is highly unlikely he would be picked again.

We make it make sense

If this story helped you navigate your world, subscribe to the M&G today for just R30 for the first three months

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.”

Agency
External source

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Latest stories

Eskom warns of stage 6, blames ‘unlawful industrial action’

Eskom experienced unplanned losses of 14 204 megawatts as protest actions intensified

Overworked Eastern Cape education assistants unpaid

Young people hired under the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative in the province are teaching classes without supervision and some have not been paid last months’ stipends

New Joburg high school boasts a R3m eSports Arena

The tech-forward school requires every child to purchase an Asus laptop, use Microsoft software for lessons and check-in daily on a mental wellbeing app

Seven leadership laws to make you and your business better

Investing in the right things for your business requires making choices and making them consciously
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×