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22 Apr, 2019 12:52

Date set for rugby star Folau's code of conduct hearing after anti-gay social media post

Date set for rugby star Folau's code of conduct hearing after anti-gay social media post

Australian rugby star Israel Folau's future will be decided when he is asked to explain himself to a three-member panel on May 4, following a controversial social media post in which he said that "hell awaits" gay people.

Folau, capped 73 times by his country, was roundly criticized for the April 10 post in which he said that homosexuals, as well as drinkers, liars, atheists and others, face eternal damnation for their sins in the post, which remains published on the player's personal Instagram page.

READ MORE: Rugby star Israel Folau requests hearing over ‘hell awaits gay people’ comments

It was announced in the aftermath that Rugby Australia would likely terminate his contract for both club and country, ending his hopes of participating in this year's World Cup in Japan. While that hasn't yet been made official, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has stated that he would not select Folau while he is in charge of team affairs. 

The hearing, which is scheduled for May 4 and was requested by the player, will provide further clarity as to the player's future and determine if Folau has any future in Australian rugby.

The 30-year-old is one of the sport's most exciting attacking talents and was considered to be a crucial part of an Australia team who harbor ambitions of winning the World Cup.

However, he has long courted controversy for his outspoken stance on homosexuality and has previously been warned of his conduct by the sport's governing body in his home country.

Also on rt.com Rugby Australia set to terminate Israel Folau contract after 'homophobic' rant controversy

Rugby Australia announced that Folau's latest comments "had committed a high-level breach of the Professional Players' Code of Conduct warranting termination of his employment contract" which looks likely to result in his contract - which was due to run until 2022 - being declared null and void.

Rugby League, a separate code to Rugby Union in which Folau currently competes, have stated that Folau is unwelcome in their sport. The player has also participated in Australian Rules football, though it remains unclear if he may potentially have a future in that sport.