Former Australia star Israel Folau refuses to back down from homophobic remarks

Former Australia star Israel Folau refuses to back down from homophobic remarks
Former Australia star Israel Folau refuses to back down from homophobic remarks

Israel Folau has refused to back down from his homophobic comments after his contract was terminated by Rugby Australia.

The Wallabies star said that ‘hell awaits’ for ‘drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolators’ on his Instagram last week.

Those comments subsequently saw him expelled from the national side in a World Cup year for ‘committing a high-level breach of the Professional Players’ Code of Conduct’ while his future with the NSW Waratahs is uncertain.

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He was given 48 hours to accept sanctions or face a code of conduct hearing.

But Folau has stood vehemently by those comments.

“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,” Folau told the Sydney Morning Herald.

“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.”

England’s Billy Vunipola was one of a number of internationals to step into the debate, controversially backing Folau.

READ MORE: Billy Vunipola - England player dropped by Channel 4 after defending Folau’s comments

And while his future with the RFU remains in the balance, Channel 4 dropped him from his commitments to the broadcaster.

Many current players though took to social media to speak out against his comments.

When asked if the fallout has made him reconsider his comments, though, Folau replied: “Absolutely not. I’ll stand on what the Bible says. I share it with love.

“I can see the other side of the coin where people’s reactions are the total opposite to how I’m sharing it.

“First and foremost, I live for God now. Whatever He wants me to do, I believe His plans for me are better than whatever I can think. If that’s not to continue on playing, 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.”

Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said: "Israel was warned formally and repeatedly about the expectations of him as player for the Wallabies and NSW Waratahs with regards to social media use and he has failed to meet those obligations.

"It was made clear to him that any social media posts or commentary that is in any way disrespectful to people because of their sexuality will result in disciplinary action."

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