Novak Djokovic will be arrested on Saturday after Australia revoked his visa for the second time in a row over his entitlement to remain in the country without vaccinations. The 34-year-old Serbian player was scheduled to play in the Australian Open which commences on January 17. Djokovic's visa was first cancelled on January 6th, shortly after he arrived in Melbourne, as Australian border Force officers claimed he had "failed to present acceptable proof" to obtain a vaccine exemption.
He faces deportation and a three-year immigration ban as a result of the judgement based on "health and good order" concerns. Djokovic's lawyers have filed an appeal, calling the decision "irrational." The men's tennis number one is slated to compete in the Australian Open in Melbourne on Monday. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the decision was made after "much thought." Mr Morrison said, referring to the scathing criticism his government has received for admitting the player who is not vaccinated into Australia, that “Australians have made significant sacrifices throughout this pandemic, and they correctly want the result of those sacrifices to be protected.”
Judge Anthony Kelly ruled that Djokovic could not be deported while the appeal proceedings were ongoing at an emergency late-night court session immediately after the ruling was announced on Friday. On Sunday, there will be a hearing on the appeal. The judge also stated that after Djokovic meets with immigration officials in Melbourne on Saturday morning, the government may detain him. He will, however, be permitted to visit his lawyers' offices in order to prepare his case for the court on Sunday. The players legal team called the government’s decision of cancelling the visa “Irrational”. Djokovic had appealed against Immigration Minister Alex Hawke's use of discretionary powers to cancel his visa. In court filings earlier in the week, Djokovic said the matter of him being unvaccinated was a personal choice.
In the appeal made by the player, he failed to restore his Australian visa just a day before the start of the Australian open and the player has been deported from Australia. A deportation order usually includes a three-year ban on returning to Australia. Djokovic's bid for a 10th Australian Open victory and a record 21st grand slam title has been derailed by the decision. The Serbian challenge to Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke's decision was dismissed by a three-judge panel of the Federal Court, which has enraged the entire country and tennis fans around the world. Hawke revoked the tennis player's visa, claiming that his presence in Australia could lead to "public disturbance" since he is a "talisman of anti-vaccine prejudice." In his tweet after the ruling, the player wished all the players and the support staff and the fans for the tournament and mentioned that he intended to take some rest before making any further comments.
Tags : #tennis #novak #Australia #international #Australiaopen #sports #ban #visa