Novak Djokovic was denied entry into Australia and had his visa canceled after arriving in Melbourne late Wednesday to defend his title on the season-opening tennis main.
The Australian Border Power issued a press release early Thursday native time saying Djokovic failed to supply acceptable proof to satisfy entry necessities and “his visa has been subsequently canceled.”
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The highest-ranked Djokovic flew in after receiving a medical exemption from the strict coronavirus vaccination necessities in place for the Australian Open, the place he’s a nine-time winner.
Australian media reported that Djokovic’s staff had utilized for the incorrect sort of visa for an individual with a medical exemption.
Djokovic’s legal professionals are anticipated to attraction the choice, which got here after the 20-time main winner needed to spend greater than eight hours on the at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport ready to seek out out if he could be allowed into the nation.
Djokovic’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, instructed the B92 web portal that his son was held “in a room which nobody can enter” on the airport, guarded by two policemen.
Djokovic’s participation within the Australian Open has change into a scorching political matter, with many Australians livid that he was granted an exemption to enter the nation. In the meantime, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated on Instagram that spoke to Djokovic whereas he was being held on the airport, and added that Serbian authorities have been taking measures “so the harassment of the perfect tennis participant on the planet be stopped within the shortest attainable time.”
Hypothesis of a attainable subject with the visa emerged whereas Djokovic was in transit and escalated with combined messages from federal and state lawmakers.
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Djokovic’s revelation on social media that he was heading to Australia looking for a report twenty first main title sparked some debate and loads of headlines on Wednesday, with critics questioning what grounds he may have for the exemption and backers arguing he has a proper to privateness and freedom of alternative.
Australian Open match director Craig Tiley defended the “fully professional utility and course of” and insisted there was no particular remedy for Djokovic.
The Victoria state government-mandated that solely absolutely vaccinated gamers, workers, followers and officers may enter Melbourne Park when the match begins on Jan. 17.
Solely 26 folks linked with the match utilized for a medical exemption and, Tiley stated, solely a “handful” have been granted.
Among the many causes allowed for these making use of for a vaccination exemption can embrace acute main medical circumstances, severe hostile response to a earlier dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, or proof of a COVID-19 an infection throughout the earlier six months.
Djokovic examined constructive for the coronavirus in June 2020 after he performed in a sequence of exhibition matches that he organized in Serbia and Croatia with out social distancing amid the pandemic.
Considerations about Djokovic’s visa standing took some time to flow into.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison initially stated the medical exemption choice was a matter for the federal government of Victoria, the place Melbourne is the state capital.
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“They’ve supplied (Djokovic) with an exemption to come back to Australia, and so we then act in accordance with that,” Morrison stated. “States present exemptions for folks to enter on these foundation, and that’s been taking place for the final two years.”
Dwelling Affairs Minister Karen Andrews then clarified the border course of.
“Whereas the Victorian authorities and Tennis Australia could allow a non-vaccinated participant to compete within the Australian Open, it’s the Commonwealth authorities that can implement our necessities on the Australian border,” Andrews stated. “If an arriving particular person is just not vaccinated, they need to present acceptable proof that they can’t be vaccinated for medical causes to have the ability to entry the identical journey association as absolutely vaccinated vacationers.”
When requested once more about Djokovic’s case, Morrison added: “If that proof is inadequate, then he gained’t be handled any totally different to anybody else and he’ll be on the following airplane residence.”
“And so if medical exemptions had been supplied by medical professionals and that’s been furnished to him as a proviso for him to get on that airplane, nicely, that must stack up when he arrives in Australia,” the prime minister stated.
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