Fan says she was told to remove rainbow flag during Israel Folau's debut match

Israel Folau's debut for rugby league side Catalans Dragons. Photo by Raymond Roig, AFP via Getty Images.

Israel Folau's debut for rugby league side Catalans Dragons sparked controversy after a visiting fan claimed she was asked to remove a rainbow flag during the match.

Castleford fan Alison Grey posted on social media during the game in Perpignan that she was initially asked to take down a flag she had displayed in support of LGBTQ rights for "health and safety" reasons.

The Dragons' signing of Folau has caused much debate as the Australian was sacked by Rugby Australia last year for making homophobic comments on social media.

Grey tweeted: "Just been told I am not allowed this flag because the club does not allow it. How disgusting."

In a later interview with Sky Sports, she added: "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."

Grey did not say whether she did take the flag down.

The Super League is investigating the matter, the organization said in a statement and will have more details by Monday.

"Rainbow flags are not banned at our club. It is not forbidden," Catalans Dragons said in a statement, according to PA Media.

"We are gathering more information about what happened," the club said.

A devout Christian who has made 73 international appearances for Australia in rugby union, Folau signed a one-year deal with the Dragons last month to return to the 13-man code.

Folau, 30, reached a settlement with Rugby Australia last year after being sacked for an Instagram post in which he said "hell awaits" gay people.

At the time of Folau's signing, the Rugby Football League -- the sport's governing body -- said allowing the signing had been a "difficult decision" and deplored the player's previous comments.

By Aimee Lewis, CNN via The-CNN-Wire™ & © 2020 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

The Gayly. 2/17/2020 @ 3:25 p.m. CST.