No Appeal By Israel Folau, Rugby Australia To Finalise Termination
Israel Folau's multi-million dollar contract is to be torn up by Rugby Australia after he failed to lodge an appeal before the 72-hour window expired.
Wallabies fullback Folau had until Monday afternoon to appeal his high-level code of conduct breach and sanction over his religiously-motivated but controversial social media posts.
"As Folau has not notified the panel of his intention to appeal, the code of conduct process has now formally concluded," Rugby Australia said in a statement.
"With the code of conduct matter complete, Folau's employment contract will be terminated."
It is not known whether Folau will accept the loss of his four-year contract or now pursue the matter in court, although a statement from the former star indicates that he is considering the latter.
“The last few weeks and, in particular, the last 72 hours have given me considerable opportunity to reflect and think about my future,” he said.
“I will not be exercising my right to appeal Rugby Australia’s decision to terminate my employment contract.
“My decision not to commence Rugby Australia’s appeal process is in no way an acceptance of the judicial panel’s findings.
“I simply do not have confidence in Rugby Australia’s ability to treat me fairly or lawfully throughout this process.
He added: “The messages of support from fans, players, former rugby administrators and the public have been humbling.
“I believe I still have a lot of rugby left in me and the potential impact of Rugby Australia’s decision on my reputation and my career is substantial.
“Ultimately, I need to do what is best for my family, my teammates and the fans, so I am considering all potential avenues open to me."
Last Friday a three-person panel found Folau's contract should be terminated after his Instagram posts, including one proclaiming hell awaits "drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters".
That came after Folau had been warned against making such posts before signing his new contract last year. He'd previously posted that hell awaited homosexuals unless they repented.
Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said at the time the decision would have ramifications across the sporting world.
"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."