In an ad on the front page of today’s Courier-Mail, billionaire Clive Palmer calls for the return of Israel Folau to rugby league. The paper reports the pair will front a joint press conference today where they will announce plans for a Folau rugby league comeback.
Later today, Palmer pledged at the press conference to paying Folau $250,000 to play amateur football on the Gold Coast.
“I’ll support him with all the funds and skills I possess to make sure he is treated fairly…
“My commitment is rock solid. I will pledge every cent, dollar, and waking moment of my time to make sure he takes the field again.”
Folau would not comment on whether he aimed to play in the NRL again. However, that appears to be his game plan.
“That’s not in my hands. I’m excited to get back on the field and play football. Wherever that takes me, it’s out of my hands.”
Palmer described Folau’s potential return to football as “just what Australia needs.”
Folau already lodged an application to Queensland Rugby League to play in local Gold Coast competition.
St George Illawarra expressed interest in signing Folau earlier in 2021 but backed away following a public backlash. However, the code-jumping player seems determined to return to the NRL.
The Australian Christian Lobby (ACL) recently campaigned for a Folau rugby league comeback. Previously the ACL raised funds to assist Folau in his legal dispute with Rugby Australia. Rugby Australia fired Folau following controversial social media posts.
In 2018 a follower of Folau’s Instagram account asked him about God’s ‘plan for homosexuals’.
Folau replied: “Hell.. unless they repent of their sins and turn to God.”
Later, Folau claimed his response actually referred to “what I believe God’s plan is for all sinners.”
He also insisted he was not homophobic.
“I believe in inclusion. In my heart, I know I do not have any phobia towards anyone.”
The Courier-Mail reports that billionaire former federal politician Clive Palmer will fund the Folau rugby league comeback. In an ad on the front-page of today’s paper, Palmer says, “Let Israel Folau play football.”
The text sits on a background of the same yellow used in advertisements for Clive Palmer’s UAP. Palmer’s political party failed to win any seats at the 2019 federal election despite standing candidates in every seat. Palmer also spent $60 million on the election.
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