Channel Seven presenter and AFL grand final master of ceremonies Basil Zempilas has once again copped the ire of footy fans around the country.
AFL CEO Andrew Demetriou has reacted to the news of Israel Folau’s announcement to quit GWS Giants and the AFL, and paid tribute to his “invaluable” contribution to the game.
“Israel Folau has been a terrific ambassador for our game in the past two years and his courageous decision to give AFL football a go has helped inspire many children, particularly in NSW and Queensland, to play and watch Australian football,” said Demetriou.
“Naturally we are sad to see Israel leave the AFL community but we understand and respect his decision. He goes with our blessing.”
Demetriou said that Israel was a “quality individual” and an “outstanding sportsman” who consistently showed improvement in his debut AFL season this year, following a season playing with the Giants in the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL) in 2011.
“Like Karmichael Hunt, who showed dramatic improvement this year at the Gold Coast Suns, the Giants had confidence that Israel was on the right path and would continue to adapt to our game, despite its many differences to rugby league, the sport he grew up playing.
“However, our focus is on what Israel feels is right for him as an individual and as a sportsman, and so we support what has been a very tough decision for him,” said Demetriou.
“On behalf of the AFL community, I would like to thank Israel for his contribution … we wish him every success for the future.”