New Delhi: The Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on Friday cancelled Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic’s visa and imposed a ban of three years. This was the second time the Australian government revoked the 34-year-old Serb’s visa three days ahead of the Australian Open.
This decision has cast clouds of doubt on whether the 20-time Grand Slam champion will play in the season’s first major Australian Open or not.
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” minister in an official statement said.
“This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on January 10, 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds. In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.”
“The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. I thank the officers of the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve Australia’s interests in increasingly challenging operational environments,” the statement added.
Djokovic’s visa was initially cancelled upon arrival after hours of interrogation by Border Force officials. Then on Monday, judge Anthony Kelly of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia quashed the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa after tennis player spent five days detained in an immigration hotel.
Notably, world number one men’s singles tennis player Djokovic on Wednesday admitted that he conducted an in-person media interview and photoshoot in December despite knowing the fact that he was COVID-19 positive.
On Thursday, AO 2022’s draw was revealed and Djokovic was placed against compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic in the opening round.
Former Australian cricketer Shane Warne on Friday said that Novak Djokovic is entitled to not get a COVID jab but Australia is also allowed to deport the world number one men’s singles tennis player from the country.
Djokovic on Wednesday admitted that he had conducted an in-person media interview and photoshoot in December despite knowing that he was COVID-19 positive.
Djokovic, who took the ‘official and approved’ PCR test on December 16, also revealed that he had not received the notification of a positive PCR test result until after attending a tennis event in Belgrade on Dec 17 where he presented awards to the children.
On the aforementioned days, the Serbian also did a rapid antigen test, which both times tested negative. Djokovic was also ordered to be released from detention immediately with his passport and “personal effects.”
(With ANI Inputs)