The Queensland Rugby League has come to a decision on Israel Folau’s return to rugby league, putting the controversial star’s hopes of returning to footy on hold for now.
The governing body was essentially given until today to make the call, or Folau’s billionaire partner Clive Palmer was going to launch legal action.
They’ve released a statement outlining their position moving forward with Folau’s registration to play with the Southport Tigers, a club that Clive Palmer is a patron of.
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At the moment, they plan to proceed with Folau’s registration in the QRL, but cannot currently do so due to some technicalities involving his former UK club, Catalan Dragons.
The next steps are as follows:
- The QRL have not received confirmation that Folau is released from his existing playing contract, nor has he received a clearance from his last known registered overseas club.
- The QRL cannot proceed with any registration approval until such time as the clearance is received – this is in accordance with current national policy regarding international clearances playing at any level of the game.
- On receipt of international clearance, Folau will be granted permission to register for the Southport Tigers at a community rugby league level and no higher, as per the registration request that has been made.
- Any registration is subject to Folau confirming he has read and understood his obligations as a player under the QRL Rules, the QRL Code of Conduct and the Community Rugby League Terms and Conditions NRL Registration.
Their statement, which was released late Wednesday morning, goes on to say the following:
“Should the registration proceed in compliance with these conditions, any breach of the code of conduct could lead to suspension, or the cancellation of the player’s registration, as it would for any other player.
“The QRL acknowledge that previous social media comments made by Folau, whilst not a registered participant in rugby league at the time, do not align to the beliefs of the game, or the QRL.
“The QRL is an inclusive organisation with a proud diversity and inclusion framework,” it reads.