Friday January 14, 2022
Djokovic’s visa annulled
Serbian media speak of “lynch mood”
The Australian government is withdrawing Novak Djokovic’s visa for the second time, which causes clear reactions in the tennis star’s home country. Serbian media speak of a “crazy” decision, tabloids even see their compatriot being “persecuted”.
After tennis star Novak Djokovic had his visa withdrawn again, the media in his native Serbia reacted with anger and outrage. “It’s unbelievable what the (Australian) minister gives as a reason: public health and the common good. And that in a country that has 150,000 new infections every day!” wrote telegraf.rs and said: “That’s crazy!”
Shortly before, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke had declared the visa invalid and also justified it with the public interest. Djokovic has not been vaccinated, and since the beginning of the pandemic there have been strict rules in Australia for the local population, which have demanded some deprivation. The lawyers of the tennis world number one immediately objected to the decision and demanded an accelerated procedure, since Djokovic’s first round match at the Australian Open will take place on Monday or Tuesday and a final clarification is necessary by then.
Internet portals of the Serbian tabloid media meanwhile switched to verbal attacks. For informer.rs, an Australian newspaper’s cartoon detailing Djokovic’s opposition to vaccination was evidence of the “lynch mood” that the Australian media would foment against the Serbian tennis star. “The pursuit of the Novak,” wrote blic.rs.
Djokovic is one of the most successful athletes in the history of Serbia, at the Australian Open he could become the sole record winner in the history of professional tennis with his 21st title win in a Grand Slam tournament. So far he shares this record with the Swiss Roger Federer and the Spaniard Rafael Nadal. The latter recently said about the Djokovic case that he felt sorry for his competitor, but “there are rules and if you don’t want to be vaccinated, you can get into trouble.”