“I can feel that”: Djokovic reports from the quarantine hotel

“I can feel that”
Djokovic reports from the quarantine hotel

Novak Djokovic has not been able to move freely since arriving in Australia. Due to discrepancies with his visa, he was first detained at the airport and then taken to a quarantine hotel. Many talk about him – now the tennis star speaks for the first time.

It is the first sign of life since arriving at Melbourne Airport: Tennis star Novak Djokovic contacted his fans via Instagram. He thanked “the people around the world for their continued support”. The 34-year-old wrote: “I can feel it and I appreciate it very much.”

The Serb did not provide any further information about his situation at the Melbourne hotel or details of his visa revoked. He also did not post a photo of himself or his accommodation. Meanwhile, there is a lot of discussion about them. His brother Djordje Djokovic said of her at a family press conference on Thursday: “He was taken to a migrant hotel in a dirty room without any belongings that he was told would be returned to him on his return to Europe.”

Refugees who have been refused and who are waiting in the hotel to be deported have now also spoken up. The Iranian Adnan Choopani filmed his small room and reported that the windows were permanently closed, guarded and “terrible” food. Sometimes there were already “maggots and mold in bread”. Former Australian national soccer player Craig Foster, who has now earned a reputation as a human rights activist, asked Djokovic to make these circumstances public and thus to help the other people in the hotel. In a series of tweets he wrote to Djokovic: He had “the opportunity to make something positive out of your situation and to draw attention to how we treat innocent people (the people in the Park Hotel, editor’s note) partially imprisoned for nine years. Because you’re there, the world hears about the fleas, the terrible food. Your mother called it ‘inhuman’. She’s right. It is. “

“You are afraid of the best”

Numerous supporters are protesting for his release in front of the hotel. “We want to support him because this is our Christmas and he is going through a difficult time,” said the protester Sash Aleksic with a view to the Orthodox Christmas. Vaccination opponents and critics of Australian immigration policy also took part in the rally. In addition, dozens of people came together in his home country of Serbia to show solidarity with the world’s number one. “You are afraid of the best, stop corona fascism,” it said on a banner, among other things.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic made a similar statement: “I fear that this relentless political persecution of Novak will continue until it can prove something,” he said on Thursday: “Because if you can’t defeat someone, then you take action to such things. ” Brother Djordje Djokovic even sought a comparison with Jesus Christ: “Jesus was crucified on the cross … but he still lives among us. They are trying to crucify and belittle Novak and bring him to his knees.”

But there is still great criticism of the star: Federal Health Minister Karl Lauterbach criticized Djokovic not behaving like a role model. That a star like Djokovic “doesn’t claim an extra sausage for himself, I think that’s necessary,” he said on RTL. Tennis legend Boris Becker warned via the “Daily Mail” that Djokovic was making a “big mistake not to get vaccinated”.

Djokovic wants to play at the Australian Open, which starts on January 17th. Because he is obviously unvaccinated, but a vaccination certificate is normally required before entering the country, he obtained a medical exemption. With this he landed in Melbourne on Wednesday. However, the border guards did not consider the entry rules to be met, so Djokovic was brought to the hotel. Djokovic has sued, and the next court hearing in Melbourne is scheduled for Monday. Judge Anthony Kelly stressed that the judiciary operates at its own pace.

Australian Interior Minister Karen Andrews assured that Djokovic is not being held in Australia. He is “free to leave at any time”. Andrews confirmed that two other players or employees of the Australian Open are being investigated because of the immigration scandal.

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