Israel Folau and Rugby Australia headed for Federal Court
Israel Folau and Rugby Australia are headed for Federal Court after the two parties failed to agree to terms at the Fair Work Commission hearing on Friday.
“It appears as though, unless thing change, we’re going to be heading to court,” Folau’s lawyer George Haros said outside the Commission.
Folau spoke briefly but did not take any questions from the media scrum assembled.
“Very, very disappointed by the outcome today,” he said.
“I’d like to thank those who’ve supported me throughout this time. I’ll continue to stand up for the freedoms of all Australians.”
HOW IT CAME TO THIS
An independent panel found that Folau had committed a high-level breach of the Professional Player’s Code of Conduct, which constituted a serious breach of contract.
Folau maintains he was sacked because of his religious beliefs and is seeking more than $10 million in damages, as well as an apology from Rugby Australia.
The former Wallaby, flanked by an entourage of lawyers and supporters, weaved his way through the media scrum as he ramps up what he calls the fight for his life.
Speaking to Alan Jones and Peta Credlin on Sky News last night, Folau claimed there was nothing in his contract which prevented him from posting his beliefs on social media, despite pleading guilty to a low-level breach during his Code of Conduct hearing.
The former Waratah also claimed that Rugby Australia had offered to pay him to remove his inflammatory Instagram post which claimed that homosexuals, among others, were destined to burn in hell.
Rugby Australia has denied Folau’s claim, saying any suggestion that Folau was offered cash to delete his post is completely untrue.
This week, the Australian Christian Lobby helped Folau raise more than $2 million to help fund his legal fight after GoFundMe decided to remove Folau’s public campaign to raise money for his cause. More than $750,000 had been donated to Folau before GoFundMe pulled the pin.
More to come.