Rugby

Israel Folau's GoFundMe appeal shut down

AP

Online donation website GoFundMe has shut down the page of Wallabies fullback Israel Folau who sought to raise $3 million to meet the legal costs of his challenge to his sacking by Rugby Australia.

GoFundMe will issue refunds to 7,000 donors who had contributed more than $750,000 to Folau’s cause before his online campaign was halted.

“After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service,” GoFundMe’s regional manager in Australia, Nicola Britton, told the Australian Associated Press.

Folau has faced widespread criticism over his move to seek public donations to fund his legal challenge.

His $4 million, four-year contract with Rugby Australia was terminated in May when the national body found he had breached the code of conduct with a social media post attacking gay people.

The 30-year-old fundamentalist Christian listed gay people among a group of sinners who said would face damnation unless they repented. He had previously been warned after a similar post during Australia’s fractious national debate over the legalization of gay marriage.