Israel Folau ups his compensation demands by $4m

Luke Bradshaw
·Sports Writer
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 28: Israel Folau departs his conciliation meeting with Rugby Australia at Fair Work Commission on June 28, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Don Arnold/Getty Images)
Israel Folau at Fair Work Commission (Credit: Getty Images)

Israel Folau is increasing his demands for compensation from Rugby Australia.

The former Wallaby was sacked in May for a social media post that said “hell awaits” gay people.

The 30-year-old had already begun legal action against Rugby Australia, claiming A$10m (£5.6m; $6.8m) for loss of earnings. Folau has now upped that figure to A$14m (£7.4m; $9.5m).

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Rugby Australia are adamant that Folau breached his code of conduct as a player, and that they were right to sack him, while Folau believes that his contract was ended unlawfully as a result of his religious beliefs and that he is being discriminated against.

His reasoning for increasing the amount is based around the perception that he would have gone on to become captain of the Wallabies, increased his earnings through sponsorship deals and that Australia would have performed better at the Rugby World Cup in Japan (the team were knocked out by England in the quarter-finals).

Rugby Union - England v Australia - Twickenham Stadium, London, Britain - November 24, 2018  Australia's Israel Folau runs in to score their first try   REUTERS/Toby Melville
Israel Folau playing for Australia (Credit: Getty Images)

This comes weeks after Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned comments Folau made linking Australia’s recent bushfires with the legalisation of same-sex marriage and abortion

Six people died in the bushfires that swept across parts of Australia, with Folau delivering a sermon at his church not long after saying that gay people would go to hell earlier this year – something that he was sacked by Rugby Australia (RA) for.

The former Wallaby delivered a 10-minute sermon at the Truth of Jesus Christ Church Sydney in which he said: “I’ve been looking around at the events that’s been happening in Australia, this past couple of weeks, with all the natural disasters, the bushfires and the droughts.”

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 26: Prime Minister Scott Morrison reacts to questions about Energy Minister Angus Taylor in the House of Representatives during Question Time at Parliament House on November 26, 2019 in Canberra, Australia. Minister for Energy Angus Taylor is being investigated over a doctored document which was used to politically attach Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore. (Photo by Tracey Nearmy/Getty Images)
Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Credit: Getty Images)

It was then followed with a Bible passage – the Book of Isaiah, The Lord’s Devastation of the Earth – that read: “The earth is defiled by its people; they have disobeyed the laws, violated the statutes and broken the everlasting covenant. Therefore a curse consumes the earth; its people must bear their guilt. Therefore earth’s inhabitants are burned up, and very few are left.”Six people have died in the bushfires that have swept across parts of Australia, and Folau’s sermon comes after saying that gay people would go to hell earlier this year – something that he was sacked by Rugby Australia (RA) for.

Folau has already raised over A$2m thanks to a crowd-funding campaign supported by the Australian Christian Lobby.

His case will be heard in the Federal Circuit Court in February 2020.

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