Fundraising site shuts down page set up by sacked rugby player Israel Folau

Fundraising site shuts down page set up by sacked rugby player Israel Folau

A fundraising page set up by sacked Australian rugby union player Israel Folau has been shut down.

His contracts with Rugby Australia were terminated last month when he posted homophobic comments on social media saying that "hell awaits" gay people in April.

They had terminated his contract for breaching behaviour standards "including respectful use of social media" with his anti-gay posts.

Folau began asking for public donations to help him with a legal fight against Rugby Australia, arguing he had been dismissed unlawfully.

Website Gofundme.com said the page he set up violated its rules. All donations will be refunded.

The site's spokeswoman, Nicola Britton, said: "As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity.

"While we welcome GoFundMe's engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion."

According to Australian media Folau, who is a Christian and argues his contract termination was an act of religious discrimination, around A$760,000 (€466,000) had been donated since the page was set up last week.

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