Novak Djokovic was a tennis player and had to have his visa to Australia abruptly revoked after he arrived in Melbourne.
For several hours the world number one was kept at the city’s international airport before border officials announced that he would not be allowed to enter and that he would be removed.
According to some reports, he was taken to a hotel in government custody until he departs on an outbound flight.
These developments occur amid backlash against Djokovic’s claim that he was allowed to participate in the Australian Open because he had been given a vaccine exemption.
Scott Morrison, Australia’s prime minister, stated that everyone is subject to the rules of his country. A press conference was held on Thursday by Mr Morrison. He stated that he’d been informed that there wasn’t a medical exemption to allow the player entry.
According to local reports, Djokovic may file a request for a visa renewal or appeal in order to re-enter the country and participate in the tournament.
Shortly after Djokovic arrived in Melbourne, authorities discovered that his team hadn’t applied for a visa that allows medical exemptions to be unvaccinated. Djokovic never spoke out about his vaccination status. But, last year, he claimed that he opposed vaccination.
According to the Australian Border Force, Djokovic failed to submit sufficient evidence for Australia’s entry requirements. The visa was subsequently cancelled.
The statement added, “Noncitizens with no valid visa or cancelled visas will be detained in Australia and removed.”
Reuters says the player was then taken to a Melbourne suburb called Carlton, where he is currently being held for deportation. According to media reports, the facility was also the scene of Covid-19 epidemics and an earlier fire.
- BACKGROUND: Djokovic exemption ignites backlash
Greg Hunt, Australian Health Minister, had earlier described Djokovic’s treatment as tough but fair and stated that there was “one rule for all” under the Australian government.
However, the treatment of his tennis player has sparked outrage in Serbia. Srdjan Djokovic, the father of his son, claimed that his son was kept in a secure room by police.
He stated in a statement to media that this was not just a fight against Novak but also a fight of the entire world.
Aleksander Vucic President said that the star was victim to “harassment”, and stated that all of Serbia supported him.
Australia has seen thousands of Covid-19 cases after it had to endure the strictest regulations in the world. While more than 90% of Australia’s population over 16 is fully immunized, some cannot travel internationally or interstate due to current restrictions.
Many Australians previously accused the government, among other things, of allowing celebrities and the wealthy to have their way while ordinary Australians remained apart from their loved ones who were dying or sick.
The Australian Open starts in Melbourne on 17 January. Djokovic was previously the winner of this tournament nine times.
Glaring questions remain
Novak Djokovic’s deportation was described by the PM as “Rules being Rules”.
Scott Morrison is talking again, but has not yet answered or explained the fundamental questions.
Djokovic’s visa: What’s the problem? Why is Djokovic exempted from visa requirements?
He was granted permission to fly, and take part at the Australian Open. But what if he has visa issues? The issues seem to have been too serious for the player not to be deported.
While his exemption from the vaccine has caused anger among Australians, who have for many months been exhorted to get it, Djokovic was not the only one who received it.
Tennis Australia claimed that only 26 of those who had applied for an exemption were allowed to do so. These are their names. Why is their case different from Djokovic’s?
Also, it seems like there’s a distinct disconnect between state and federal government decisions.
Victoria granted Djokovic permission to participate in the tournament he has dominated and defend his title.
Morrison stated Wednesday that it was Victoria’s choice. However, he changed his course less than one day later and now says that nobody is above the rules.
Although anger has been expressed overseas, the PM believes the decision will not be taken lightly by Australians.
Mr Morrison is under tremendous political pressure due to his handling of Omicron variant. This has led to a surge in cases and chaos at the testing clinics. This all with an impending election within the next few months.
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