An independent panel have backed Rugby Australia’s decision to terminate Israel Folau's four-year, $4m contract following his controversial social media post.
The full-back has 72 hours to appeal the decision which came after he made a post on Instagram which claimed hell awaits “drunks, homosexuals, adulterers” and others.
Speaking on Friday, Rugby Australia chief executive Raelene Castle said it Folau had left the governing body with no alternative.
We want to stress that this outcome is a painful situation for the game. Rugby Australia did not choose to be in this situation, but Rugby Australia’s position remains that Israel, through his actions, left us with no choice but to pursue this course of action.
This has been an extremely challenging period for Rugby and this issue has created an unwanted distraction in an important year for the sport and for the Wallabies team.
When we say rugby is a game for all, we mean it. People need to feel safe and welcomed in our game regardless of their gender, race, background, religion, or sexuality.
In a statement after his sacking was confirmed, Folau said he was "deeply saddened" by the result.
"It has been a privilege and an honor to represent Australia and my home state of New South Wales, playing the game I love," he explained.
"I am deeply saddened by today's decision to terminate my employment and I am considering my options.
"As Australians, we are born with certain rights, including the right to freedom of religion and the right to freedom of expression.
"The Christian faith has always been a part of my life and I believe it is my duty as a Christian to share God's word. Upholding my religious beliefs should not prevent my ability to work or play for my club or country."