What will happen to money donated to Folau
UPDATED: People who donated money to support Israel Folau's legal campaign against Rugby Australia will have their money refunded after the rugby star settled his $14 million dispute for unfair dismissal against Rugby Australia and Rugby NSW.
The controversial former Wallaby is believed to have agreed to a confidential compensation package.
In a statement released on Wednesday afternoon, Rugby Australia revealed the parties had settled their legal dispute after Folau posted a religious message on social media.
There was not any announcement on whether Folau would be welcomed back to Rugby.
Donors who gave to the Folau campaign will be contacted in due course and are entitled to refunds on a pro-rata basis, in accordance with our original commitment.— Martyn Iles (@MartynLloydIles) December 4, 2019
Thank you all for contributing to an important result for religious freedom.
In the statement, Folau said he did not condone discrimination of any kind and shared Rugby Australia's commitment to inclusiveness, while the governing body apologised "for any hurt or harm caused to the Folaus".
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"The Social Media Post reflected Mr Folau's genuinely held religious beliefs, and Mr Folau did not intend to harm or offend any person when he uploaded the Social Media Post," the statement read.
"Mr Folau wants all Australians to know that he does not condone discrimination of any kind against any person on the grounds of their sexuality and that he shares Rugby Australia's commitment to inclusiveness and diversity.
"Rugby Australia and NSW Rugby do not in any way agree with the content of the Social Media Post. Inclusiveness is one of Rugby's core values and it welcomes all people to the game, including all members of the LGBTI community.
"While it was not Rugby Australia's intention, Rugby Australia acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused to the Folaus. Similarly, Mr Folau did not intend to hurt or harm the game of rugby and acknowledges and apologises for any hurt or harm caused.
"Rugby Australia and Mr Folau wish each other well for the future. The Parties do not intend to comment further on the terms of their settlement as it is confidential."
Folau and Rugby Australia continued their marathon efforts over the phone on Wednesday to find a settlement ahead of a looming court battle over his sacking.
They could not reach an agreement after 12 hours of mediation in the Federal Circuit Court in Melbourne on Monday.
It comes as Folau this week defended his stance and vowed to keep sharing his controversial views as it is his duty to spread "the word of God" and it would be "unloving" of him to keep them to himself.
On the eve of their mediation, Folau increased his damages claim to $14 million and had Wallabies players supportive of him willing to be interrogated in court by Rugby Australia's own lawyers,
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