Djokovic appeals deportation from Australia

Govt revokes Serb tennis star’s visa for failing to fulfill Covid vaccine entry necessities


Tennis world primary Novak Djokovic fought in opposition to deportation from Australia on Thursday after the federal government revoked his visa for failing to fulfill Covid vaccine-entry necessities.

The vaccine-sceptic Serb was stopped by border officers on arrival to Australia late on Wednesday and denied entry into the nation.

He is presently being held at an immigration detention facility in Melbourne and faces deportation.

Djokovic had flown into town’s Tullamarine Airport anticipating to defend his Australian Open crown and to bid for an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam title.

He had claimed on Instagram that he had obtained an exemption to play within the match, which begins on January 17, with out being vaccinated.

The 34-year-old has refused to disclose his vaccine standing publicly however has beforehand voiced opposition to being jabbed. He contracted Covid a minimum of as soon as.

But as an alternative of a conquering champion’s return, Djokovic by no means made it previous border management.

Conservative Prime Minister Scott Morrison stated Djokovic had failed to offer officers with proof of double vaccination or an ample medical exemption.

“Rules are rules and there are no special cases,” Morrison stated.

Australian border officers questioned the sports activities star in a single day and revoked his visa citing a failure to “provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements”.

Djokovic’s attorneys are actually arguing in opposition to that call in courtroom, hoping to stop the star’s deportation.

News that Djokovic had obtained an exemption to arrive in Australia with out being vaccinated was met by public outcry.

Australians have been unable to travel or welcome household from abroad for a lot of the final two years, because of powerful pandemic restrictions.

Stephen Parnis, a former Australian Medical Association vice-president, stated the exemption despatched an “appalling message” to individuals making an attempt to cease the unfold of Covid-19.

But the Serb’s remedy on arrival prompted fury amongst his followers and a fiercely worded diplomatic rebuke from Serbia’s president.

“The whole of Serbia is with him and… our authorities are undertaking all measures in order that maltreatment of the world’s best tennis player ends as soon as possible,” President Aleksandar Vucic stated after talking with Djokovic over the telephone.

“In line with all standards of international public law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, justice and truth.”

Djokovic’s father echoed that nationalistic tone, claiming his son had been “held captive for five hours” at Melbourne airport and will return home to a hero’s welcome.

“This is a fight for a libertarian world, this is not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world,” he advised the Russian state-run Sputnik media outlet in Serbia.

Sanja, a 35-year-old Serbian-Australian Djokovic fan, had been trying ahead to seeing him play in Melbourne.

“He went through a civil war to play tennis. He’s done nothing wrong to the world. If this was Nadal or Federer there wouldn’t be this much hype about it.”

Australia’s leaders — cautious of public sentiment and mounting Covid issues forward of an upcoming election — pointed fingers over who was answerable for the saga.

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews stated the federal government made “no apologies” for shielding the border, regardless of the prime minister earlier suggesting it was as much as Melbourne officers.

Tournament organisers had been additionally criticised, with Australian Open chief Craig Tiley insisting the defending champion had been given “no special favour” and urging him to disclose why he obtained the exemption to assuage public anger.

All contributors on the first Grand Slam of 2022 should be vaccinated in opposition to Covid-19 or have a medical exemption, which is granted solely after evaluation by two panels of impartial specialists.

Among the circumstances permitting entry with out a vaccine is that if an individual has had Covid-19 prior to now six months. It has not been revealed if that was the case with Djokovic.

Tiley stated simply 26 of the approximately 3,000 gamers and help workers travelling to Australia for the match had utilized for a vaccine exemption. Only a handful had been profitable.

He defended the integrity of the exemption software course of.

“Any person who met those conditions has been allowed to come in. There’s been no special favour. There’s been no special opportunity granted to Novak,” Tiley stated.

Djokovic voiced his opposition to the Covid-19 vaccine in April 2020 when it was steered they is perhaps compulsory so match play may resume.

“Personally I am not pro-vaccine,” stated Djokovic on the time. “I would not like it for someone to compel me to be vaccinated so I can travel.”

During Djokovic’s questioning on the airport, his coach Goran Ivanisevic posted {a photograph} on Instagram of himself and the Serb’s different backroom workers, patiently ready on the airport for a decision.

“Not the most usual trip Down Under,” wrote the previous Wimbledon champion.

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