Novak Djokovic, the world No. 1 tennis player, had his visa to enter Australia dramatically cancelled on his arrival in Melbourne amid a massive controversy over a vaccination exemption.
According to court officials, Djokovic has challenged the Australian Border Force’s decision to revoke his visa application and deport him, and his appeal has been deferred until 10 a.m. on Monday in Melbourne, according to court officials.
The Federal Court of Australia has told world number one that he may stay in Melbourne until his appeal is heard again.
The 34-year-old Serbian player travelled to Australia after stating that he had secured a medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination requirements in order to partake in the competition.
However, that was insufficient for border officials when it came to admission into a nation with strict entry rules. After travelling to Melbourne, Djokovic was kept at the airport for several hours before being turned away.
“The Australian Border Force will continue to ensure that people who arrive at our border comply with our laws and entry requirements,” said an ABF statement.
“The ABF can confirm that Mr. Djokovic failed to provide adequate documentation to fulfil Australia’s admission standards, and his visa was subsequently revoked.”
“Non-citizens who do not have a valid visa at the time of entrance or whose visa has been revoked will be detained and expelled from Australia.”
“The ABF confirms that Mr. Djokovic had access to his phone.”
Djokovic has not revealed why tournament organisers gave him a medical exemption. Officials required that all players get vaccinated in order to go and compete.
According to reports, Djokovic did not apply for a visa that provides for exemptions for unvaccinated people. It is unclear whether Djokovic has been vaccinated, although he has previously stated his opposition.
The news of the exemption from the competition sparked a massive public and political outrage.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told Djokovic that if he could not show “adequate proof” of his exemption, he would be on the “next plane home.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said no one is above the rules after the country's border force canceled the visa of Novak Djokovic and denied him entry into the country to play in the #AusOpen https://t.co/fZkCEm4qfg pic.twitter.com/RbTrXtQwbB
— Reuters (@Reuters) January 6, 2022
The state government of Victoria has also said that it would not support Djokovic’s visa application.
Following the ABF’s announcement, Morrison stated that no exceptions could be made for anyone.
“Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled,” Morrison tweeted. When it comes to our borders, regulations are rules.
“No one is exempt from these restrictions.” Our tough border rules have contributed to Australia’s having one of the lowest COVID mortality rates in the world, and we will remain alert. ”
Shortly before the ABF announcement, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic chimed in on the topic, criticising Djokovic’s treatment.
“I just concluded a phone call with Novak Djokovic,” Vucic stated on Instagram.
“I told our Novak that the entire country of Serbia is behind him and that our officials are taking every precaution to put an end to the harassment of the world’s finest tennis player as soon as possible.”
“In accordance with all international public law principles, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, for justice, and for the truth.”
Djokovic is attempting to win a record 21st grand slam championship, as well as the Australian Open for the tenth time. The event kicks off on January 17.
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