24 Jun 2019

Israel Folau fundraising campaign page shut down by GoFundMe Australia

2:38 pm on 24 June 2019

Sacked Wallabies star Israel Folau's GoFundMe page has been shut down and the funds will be returned to donors, the company says.

Israel Folau says he has resisted the "temptation" of a peace offering from Rugby Australia

Israel Folau Photo: Photosport

The player's $4 million contract was torn up in May after one of his social media posts citing the Bible was deemed homophobic.

Folau started the GoFundMe campaign last week, asking people to donate $3m to fight Rugby Australia over the termination of his contract.

The fundraising post, republished to Maria Folau's Instagram page on Friday, explains the couple has spent more than $100,000 on legal fees to fight the termination.

As of Sunday afternoon, a GoFundMe page set up by Israel Folau had raised more than $670,000 of its $3m target.

In a statement, Nicola Britton of GoFundMe Australia said the campaign violated its terms of service.

The statement said the company was committed to the fight for equality for LGBTQI+ 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 of exclusion," it said.

At the weekend, Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle condemned Folau's public appeal for money at the weekend.

"From our perspective, [GoFundMe] is a place where sick children get support, so it's certainly not a strategy we think is appropriate," Castle said.


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