Israel Folau’s controversial appeal for financial assistance for his legal fight against Rugby Australia has been shut down by GoFundMe Australia.

More than $700,000 worth of funds donated are expected to be refunded.

GoFundMe Australia released a statement to the Herald on Monday saying the Folau appeal breached the organisation’s terms and conditions.

“Today we will be closing Israel Folau’s campaign and issuing full refunds to all donors. After a routine period of evaluation, we have concluded that this campaign violates our terms of service,” GoFundMe Australia regional manager Nicola Britton said.

“As a company, we are absolutely committed to the fight for equality for LGBTIQ+ people and fostering an environment of inclusivity. While we welcome GoFundMes engaging in diverse civil debate, we do not tolerate the promotion of discrimination or exclusion.

“In the days since Mr Folau’s campaign launched, more than one million dollars have been donated to hundreds of other campaigns, large and small, across Australia. Those acts of kindness are the heart of GoFundMe.

“Our platform exists to help people help others. Australians have shown themselves to be among the most kind and generous people in the world. We look forward to helping more Australians fundraise for causes they care about in the coming months and years.”

According to GoFundMe’s list of terms and conditions, users may not attempt to raise money “for the legal defence of … intolerance of any kind relating to race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, sex, gender or gender identity, or serious disabilities or diseases”.

More details to come…

Over the weekend numerous charities and families in need had shared their disgust at the online campaign.

One dad, whose son has cancer, slammed the GoFundMe campaign, saying the crowdfunding site should be used to help sick children.

Andrija Magic, from Melbourne, is fighting to save the life of his two-year-old son, Marko, after he was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma.

Neuroblastoma is the most common solid tumour of childhood arising from particular nerve cells which run in a chain-like fashion up the child’s abdomen and chest and into the skull following the line of the spinal cord.

‘This story is causing quite a bit of a stir,’ Mr Magic said on The Today Show on Saturday morning about Folau’s campaign.

‘We don’t know if Marko is going to live or die. He has a very serious rare cancer,’ he said.

‘For our family we decided to use GoFundMe to actually raise medical funds for medical treatment in the US which is currently not available in Australia.

‘All that money is directed only for Marko, nothing else.’

Are your relieved it got shut down?

Share your comments below

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  • I was very shocked to hear that people were willing to donate their money to something so silly. If they want to donate their money, there are way more worthy causes.


  • They had to shut it down because it breached their conditions but it didn’t change to much.


  • When it was against the policies then yes I agree.


  • About time he shouldn’t be asking the public for money


  • I don’t think funding for his rants were right in any way,


  • He breached their conditions, and was going against te spirit of the site. It’s a fair decision.


  • No one was going to benefit from his public statement demeaning real groups that exist in communities, everywhere.
    It was hateful and I don’t believe that’s Gods message.
    Go Fund Me page shut down is good.
    Team members of his or on opposing teams will be gay. He doesn’t deserve to be on a team representing “being a top team”.
    role modelling matters.
    The statements don’t belong in progressive times with inclusion and equality upheld or being sort.


  • I had to look up exactly what he said, and I understand why he was fired. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but posting such a hateful comment for the whole world to see, with no remorse, shows what kind of person he is. He should’ve kept his opinion to himself or close friends if he felt he had to tell someone. Good on Rugby Australia for showing they don’t tolerate such behaviour. As for his campaign, one article I read that that there was a disclosure at the end saying “there will be no obligations for Israel Folau to apply the funds in any particular way with respect to his legal action”. So basically he could do what he liked with the money. Apparently he is looking for other ways to raise money.


  • I’m surprised the GoFundMe campaign had raised so much money.


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