Catalans to investigate after rainbow flags removed at Folau’s debut


Catalans have said they will investigate incidents that led to two supporters being asked to remove rainbow flags during Israel Folau’s Super League debut.

Two people claimed they were asked to remove the flags after displaying them inside the Dragons’ Gilbert Brutus Stadium in Perpignan on Saturday.

Controversial signing Folau is hoping to resurrect his career in Super League after being sacked by Rugby Australia last year for making homophobic comments on social media.

Folau lined up for the first time for his new club as France-based Catalans hosted Castleford.

Alison Grey, a Castleford fan, posted on social media during the game that she was asked to take down a rainbow flag – used as symbol of the LGBTQ movement and which promotes social equality – that she had displayed.

“Just been told I am not allowed this flag because the club does not allow it. How disgusting,” she tweeted.

She later said in an interview with Sky Sports: “We were asked if we could take the flag down, first because it was against health and safety. When we said that there were other flags around the ground they gave up.

“They then came back to us later on and said it was against the views of the club to have the flags.”

Catalans issued a statement saying this was not club policy and they would look into the matter.

“Rainbow flags are not banned at our club. It is not forbidden. We are gathering more information about what happened,” the statement read.

Israel Folau applauds Catalans Dragons fans after the match at Stade Gilbert Brutus in Perpignan.Credit:Getty

In another incident, a security official asked a man to remove a rainbow flag – which was draped over a railing – appearing to suggest it was covering up a portion of an advertising hoarding, high up in the stands.

Coach Steve McNamara would not be drawn on the matters in his post-match press conference.

“I am here to talk about football, not political or religious views or whatever else it might be,” the former England boss said.

“I am here to talk about rugby league. That is what I know, that is what I do, not any of the other stuff.”

A statement from Super League, obtained by Sky Sports, read: “Everyone should have the right to respectfully express their views. We are investigating. We will receive a full report by the end of this weekend and have more details by Monday.”


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