Asics End Partnership With Israel Folau

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SYDNEY -Key Wallabies sponsor Qantas has praised Rugby Australia for its tough stance on Israel Folau over homophobic comments, while the Waratahs said there was still "a lot of love" for him within the team.

Ex-Wallabies coach, Alan Jones launched a defiant on-air rant in support of Israel Folau following an independent panels determination that he committed a "high-level" breach of the professional players' code of conduct.

"ASICS is dedicated to sport and its healthy contribution to society. We believe sport is for everyone and we champion inclusivity and diversity", the company said.

'As such, our partnership with Israel has become untenable and he will no longer represent Asics as a brand ambassador'.

On Wednesday Folau was dealt another blow when major sponsor ASICS withdraw its support.

Referencing 1 Corinthians 6:9, the graphic lists "Drunks, homosexuals, drunks, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists, idolaters", before imploring "HELL AWAITS YOU", and "REPENT!"

The player's legal fees are also racking up and, of course, the most likely conclusion of the disciplinary process is still that his A$4 million ($2.79 million), four-year contract with RA and the New South Wales Waratahs will be terminated.

Mitchell also called out Folau's hypocrisy when he progressed to a code of conduct hearing despite writing in a Players Voice column a year ago he would walk away from his deal if RA told him the situation became untenable.

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What is understood to have been factored in is if Folau escapes, and then makes another inflammatory post, he and RA will be forced to head down another costly code of conduct hearing in future.

Now an influential and outspoken radio broadcaster, known for his conservative views, he relayed a message Tuesday he said he received from the player.

This is only the end of the beginning in the Israel Folau saga which is destined for the courts now Rugby Australia nearly has a green light to tear up his contract.

He went on to defend Folau, saying: "From Israel's perspective he absolutely believes he's done nothing wrong".

"We expect our partners to take the appropriate action". "He said, 'Alan, I'm at peace, mate". "My head is held high".

Should the panel choose the most severe level of punishment in their power and terminate his four-year, $A4 million ($NZ4.25 million) contract, it's expected the dual worldwide will appeal.

"What this is causing, vis-a-vis a divide amongst fans amongst just the game in general, the other sports must be laughing at us", he said.

"The Australia that our Anzacs fought for seems to be disappearing before our very eyes", Jones said on 2GB. "I think our, and my, history on that is that you go too tight on stuff, there'll be stuff that sits outside and you'll have other, broader problems down the track", McLachlan said.

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