Netball Australia condemned for not sanctioning Maria Folau

11:19 am on 24 June 2019

Australian netball great Liz Ellis has slammed the sport's governing body in Australia for refusing to sanction Silver Fern Maria Folau, for re-posting her husband's controversial online fundraising campaign.

Silver Fern shooter Maria Folau.

Silver Fern shooter Maria Folau. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Folau is the wife of former Wallabies star Israel Folau and plays for the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Super Netball, and re-posted her husband's online campaign, which aims to raise $3 million for legal fees after he was sacked for controversial homophobic posts.

Netball Australia and the Super Netball league said no action would be taken in a joint statement released on Sunday.

"Yeah nah not good enough," former Australian Diamonds captain Liz Ellis wrote on social media in response.

"There is no room for homophobia in our game. Anyone who is seen to support or endorse homophobia is not welcome," she said.

The former captain of the national team and the Sydney Swifts said while she loved watching Maria Folau play she did not want her sport endorsing the views of her husband.

Israel Folau's $4m contract was torn up in May after one of his social media posts citing the Bible was deemed homophobic.

"We will continue to support Maria as a valued member of the Thunderbirds and the Suncorp Super Netball league," the joint statement read.

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.

Netball South Australia chief executive Bronwyn Klei also weighed in on the controversy, defending her organisation as committed to providing an inclusive environment.

"Like millions of other people across Australia, Maria Folau uses her personal social media platform to share her life and beliefs with her family, friends and fans," she said.

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

Israel Folau. Photo: Photosport

Ms Klei made clear Netball SA does not endorse the post, but said the social media policy has not been contravened.

"Maria is a key member of the Thunderbirds," she said.

"We continue to support her as we support all our players."