News by emailDonate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

Adam Davy/PA Wire

Israel Folau's hearing on hell comments extended after stalemate

by Cara Bentley

Israel Folou, who signed a four-year deal with the Waratahs in Sydney in March, could have his contract with Rugby Australia ended because he posted a picture on instagram saying that homosexuals, among others, would face hell unless they repented to Jesus. 

The Australian rugby player also listed atheists, drunks, idolaters, adulterers, liars and fornicators, calling on people to repent, saying 'Only Jesus saves!' 

Folou's comments sparked controversy and threats from Rugby Australia about his continuation as a national star as he had had warnings about similar comments already. 

The code of conduct hearing, which Folou requested, was held at Rugby Australia's headquarters in Sydney and evidence was provided by Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. 

The hearing was only meant to last one day, with Sunday reserved incase it dragged on. 

After 15 hours, no conclusion was made about his future, with Waratahs player Andrew Hore also called for evidence on Sunday. 

They will now reconvene on Tuesday. 

Folou's solicitors are arguing that he was quoting a Bible passage and that the comments weren't his direct words. They also say there is no social media clause in his contract. 

The Wallabies coach said he was unlikely to be selected to play again and Rugby Australia believe he has breached player code of conduct and social media policies. 

On Tuesday, teammate Taniela Tupou wrote on Facebook: "Seriously. Might as well sack me and all the other Pacific Islands rugby players around the world because we have the same Christian beliefs. I will never apologise for my faith and what I believe in, religion had got nothing to do with rugby anyway."

Stay up to date with the latest news stories from a Christian perspective. Sign up to our daily newsletter and receive more stories like this straight to your inbox every morning.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £5 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £5 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.