Novak Djokovic during training on the court in Melbourne, Australia.
Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has revoked the visa of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic. The world leader will probably not be able to start at the Australian Open grand slam tournament.
According to the AFP agency, he appealed against the verdict, and through a lawyer he applied for a court order to prevent his deportation. The court will deal with his appeal on Sunday.
Hawke has invalidated Djokovic’s entry visas. He justified it “on medical grounds, for maintaining order and on the grounds that it is in the public interest”. The Serb faces deportation from the country only three days before the start of the Australian Open, where he should defend the title.
“Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hawke said. The abolition of visas means that Djokovic will not be able to enter Australian territory for three years.
On Friday, Djokovic’s case was settled by the Federal and Family Court, players’ deputy Nick Wood asked for the suspension of the visa waiver verdict. The lawyers of the Ministry of Immigration have agreed that Djokovic will not be deported from the country unless the trial is completed.
Lawyer Stephen Lloyd said the tennis player would remain at large and not be detained until at least Saturday, when he was interviewed by immigration officials. Then he should return to the detention hotel, where he will be until Sunday court.
Djokovic’s lawyer Nick Wood hopes to return his client’s visa so he can start the tournament on Monday. Wood argues that the reason for the cancellation is irrational. He argued in court, among other things, that Minister Hawke’s decision to revoke a tennis player’s visa was based on the premise that his presence in Australia would fuel anti-vaxer tendencies in the country. “(Hawke)” has no rational basis to justify his decision to increase anti-vaxing tendencies in the country in the event of Djokovic’s stay, “Wood said before the Federal and Family Court, which was again led by Judge Athony Kelly.
Djokovic’s start at the first grand slam tournament of the season has long been questionable. Australia has strict anti-pandemic measures and the tennis player is not vaccinated against the coronavirus. He wanted to start at the Australian Open due to an exception after allegedly overcoming COVID-19 in December.
However, he was detained on his arrival on Thursday, January 6, due to his invalid visas, and spent the following days in a hotel for immigrants. He passed the court on Monday and began training. However, Minister Hawke used his authority on Friday to revoke his visa.
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The 20-time Grand Slam champion arrived in the country to defend his Australian Open title. Although he received a medical exemption for the unvaccinated, the problems arose after a 14-hour flight from Dubai to Melbourne, where they found that he did not have the correct visa to enter the exemption. He was detained at Tullamarine Airport, where he was guarded in a closed room.
“Mr Djokovic did not provide adequate evidence that the conditions for entry into Australia were met and his visa was subsequently revoked. People who are not nationals of the country and who do not have a valid visa or have been revoked will be detained and expelled from Australia, “the Australian Border Guard said, but denied reports that it had confiscated Djokovic’s mobile phone.
The exception for Djokovic outraged the Australians
However, the vaccination exemption granted to him by the tournament organizers after his request was approved by two medical commissions, according to the AFP agency, provoked a huge wave of resentment among Australians. They have been facing severe coronavirus restrictions for two years. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also said that Djokovic’s start to the Australian Open was not over yet.
Although the organizers decide to participate in the tournament and grant an exemption, entry into the country must be approved by the federal government. It is responsible for border measures and visas. Like all unvaccinated passengers who want to enter Australia by way of exception, Djokovic had to provide the relevant documents to immigration officials upon arrival. “It is the passenger’s responsibility to provide the correct documents that comply with our laws,” Morrison said.
Djokovic on Monday succeeded with an appeal in court and started training. However, Minister Hawke used his authority on Friday to revoke his visa.