Folau joins prayer circle before entering mediation with Rugby Australia

04 Décembre, 2019, 14:08 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Israel Folau with wife Maria

Mediation between Rugby Australia and fallen star Israel Folau ended without agreement Monday, but talks will continue as the two sides seek to avoid a court trial over his sacking for anti-gay comments.

They could not reach an agreement after 12 hours of mediation in the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne on Monday.

Folau, a devout Christian, had his contract terminated by RA for a "high-level breach" after he posted "hell awaits. drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolaters" on Instagram.

He claims he was wrongfully dismissed by Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW and has taken them to court, asking for $14 million in compensation and an apology.

"However, where we stand is that mediation remains on foot and (we) are hopeful to reach one (an agreement) in the coming days", he said.

Rugby Australia said it will now make all the necessary arrangements with the Rugby Union Players' Association to set up the hearing.

The sacked Wallaby and his netballer wife Maria Folau were at court on Monday.

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Folau joined supporters as they formed a circle, hand-in-hand, and bowed their heads in prayer.

However, RA chief executive Raelene Castle said she had been sent messages and emails from the rugby community supporting the decision to sack Folau.

"It is these messages from members of our community and the wider sports community that leaves us in no doubt that we are doing what's right", she said.

"I understand that not everyone shares my faith and some find it hard to reconcile with their own beliefs", Folau said in a video posted on his website before the meeting. "Israel's commentary subsequent to his termination has only reinforced this belief", she told reporters outside court in Melbourne, earlier on Monday.

He added that he was praying that God "watches over us, so that both parties might realise the courage to uphold the truth".

"Rugby Australia is confident in its legal position but we come here today with a genuine desire to find a settlement that is sensible and reasonable so that we can return all our focus and resources to growing the game of rugby across Australia", she said.

In a fresh controversy last month, Folau's comments linking the bushfires in Australia to gay marriage and abortion were slammed as "appallingly insensitive" by the nation's prime minister Scott Morrison.

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