Super League Club Hull Will Allow Rainbow Flags At Folau Match
English Super League club Hull will allow fans to fly rainbow flags when they host Israel Folau's Catalans Dragons.
The move comes after Castleford Tigers supporters were asked to remove rainbow flags -- traditionally used to support the LGBTI movement -- after displaying them at Stade Gilbert Brutus in France, where Folau made his debut for Catalans Dragons on Saturday.
He is due to make his second appearance when the Dragons visit the KCOM Stadium in Hull, England, in two weeks time.
The Dragons don't have a policy of banning flags and pledged to investigate, while a Hull spokesman said: "We have nothing against pride flags in general."
"Rainbow flags are not banned at our club. It is not forbidden. We are gathering more information about what happened," the statement from The Dragons read.
The signing of Folau has been widely condemned by both Super League and the Rugby Football League, who says it was powerless to prevent his registration.
Castleford fan Alison Grey posted to social media during Saturday's game claiming she had been asked to take a rainbow flag down.
"Just been told I am not allowed this flag because the club does not allow it. How disgusting," she tweeted.
She later said officials told her that displaying the flag was a health and safety concern.
"When we said that there were other flags around the ground they gave up," she explained during a post-match interview.
"They then came back to us later on and said it was against the views of the club to have the flags."
Catalans coach Steve McNamara would not be drawn on the matter in his post-match press conference.
"I am here to talk about football, not political or religious views or whatever else it might be. I am here to talk about rugby league. That is what I know, that is what I do, not any of the other stuff," the former England boss said.
Folau scored a try with his first touch on Saturday, making his return to rugby league after a decade away from the sport.
He managed to get his Super League debut out of the way amid only minor controversy as he helped Catalans to a 36-18 win over Castleford in Perpignan.
Home fans in the crowd of almost 9,000 chanted "Izzy, Izzy!" when Folau scored a trademark leaping try from a Josh Drinkwater cross kick.
Meanwhile, a joint statement from Super League and the RFL said: "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."
Folau's career has been marred by controversy after he was sacked by Rugby Australia last May for making homophobic comments on social media.
The next big test is to see how Folau is received when Catalans travel to England for their next match, against Hull on March 1, as supporters of other clubs have promised to protest.