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'I'm fighting for what's right': Folau makes funding appeal for legal costs

The sacked rugby player is hoping to raise $3 million to aid his legal battle against Rugby Australia.

ISRAEL FOLAU HAS set up a GoFundMe page in the hope of raising AUS$3 million [€1.8 million] to aid his legal battle against Rugby Australia, after he had his contract terminated over homophobic comments.

The Wallabies fullback lost his AUS$4 million [€2.45 million] contract over an anti-gay post on Instagram, before last week filing an application to the Australian Fair Work Commission, seeking a declaration that his employment was unlawfully terminated because of his religious beliefs. 

Source: Israel Folau/YouTube

Folau last week said he had no confidence in Rugby Australia’s internal dispute settlement process and was seeking “substantial remedies” via the tribunal.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Folau would be seeking AUS$10 million [€6.1 million] in damages for lost sponsorship and marketing opportunities, a sum it said could bankrupt Rugby Australia.

In a video posted on social media today, Folau claims he and his wife have already spent AUS$100,000 [€61,000] and has appealed for donations from the public to assist his legal battle against his former employers.

“My wife Maria and I have already spent over $100,000 of our own money, and that was just to try and deal with Rugby Australia’s internal tribunal processes,” he said.

“The money I am asking for is to fund the rest of my action in court.

Rugby Australia has an army of lawyers at their disposal and they have already said they will divert significant resources to fight me in court.

“The cost to me and my family of continuing my legal action against Rugby Australia is expected to be significant.

Since my contract was terminated I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the support received from family, friends, fans and the public. Even people who don’t share my beliefs have defended my right to uphold and express them.

“They made me realise I’m not just fighting for my future and my family; I’m fighting for what is right. But I can’t do it alone.” 

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