Australian Open: threatened with expulsion, Novak Djokovic gets a reprieve

POLÉMIC – After being refused entry to Australia due to a visa problem, Novak Djokovic was granted a stay. The world tennis number 1 will be sent home on Monday at the earliest.

He won’t be kicked out right away. Arrived in Melbourne on Wednesday, January 5, in the hope of participating in the Australian Open, for which he had obtained a medical exemption, Novak Djokovic filed a legal action against the cancellation of his visa. The world number 1, who has never disclosed his vaccine status against Covid-19, will not be returned from Australia until Monday, when a new hearing is scheduled, government lawyer Christopher Tan announced on Thursday 6 January.

A reprieve therefore for the Serbian. No sooner had he disembarked at Melbourne airport, “Nole” had seen his visa canceled for lack of the necessary documents to enter the country. “Foreign nationals who do not have a valid visa or whose visa has been canceled will be detained and deported from Australia”, immediately informed Australian customs.

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Covid-19: the challenge of vaccination

According to information from the local press, Novak Djokovic would have failed by not filling out the correct form to apply for a visa. Thus, the visa he requested does not authorize any medical exemption, for which he was moreover ordered to reveal the reason for its allocation. The federal customs service contacted the government of the state of Victoria, when the entourage of “Djoko” noted his error, explained the daily. The Age. But this request was rebutted, said Jaala Pulford, a minister of the state of Victoria. In response, the 34-year-old tennis player filed a lawsuit.

Australia accused of “harassment”

This incredible situation around the Serbian champion saw Australian and Serbian politicians get involved. The president of the

Serbia Aleksandar Vucic accused Australia of “bad treatment” towards Novak Djokovic upon his arrival in the state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital. “All of Serbia is with him” and “the authorities were taking all necessary measures to ensure that the harassment of the best tennis player in the world ceases as soon as possible”, said the Serbian head of state on his Instagram account, after speaking by phone with the tennis player.

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If the evidence to support this medical waiver is “insufficient”, so Djokovic “will not be treated any differently from anyone else”, insisted Prime Minister Scott Morrison. “He will return home on the first plane.”

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