Australia revokes Novak Djokovic’s visa and intends to deport him

Novak Djokovic has canceled his Australian visa for the second time.

He awaits the world number one player as a judge overturned the original decision on Monday to find out whether Immigration Minister Alex Hawke would use his powers to reintroduce the penalty.

And, just before 6pm (7pm UK time) on Friday, Hawke issued a statement saying he had made the decision to send Djokovic home “on the basis of health and good order”.

Hawke said: “Today I exercised my power under section 133c(3) of the Migration Act to cancel a visa held by Mr. Novak Djokovic on grounds of health and good order, on the grounds that it is in the public interest to do so. Was.

“This decision follows the orders of the Federal Circuit and Family Court on January 10, 2022, setting aside prior cancellation decisions based on procedural fairness.

β€œIn making this decision, I have carefully considered the information provided to me by the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr. Djokovic.

“The Morrison Government is strongly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The decision means that Djokovic also faces a three-year ban from the country, which could mean he will never play at the Australian Open again, although this can be waived.

Djokovic arrived in Melbourne on 5 January, having been exempted from the country’s strict entry rules regarding COVID-19 vaccination through Tennis Australia, on the grounds that he had recently been infected with the virus.

But the Australian Border Force stopped him and interrogated him overnight and told that his visa had been revoked. He was then taken to a detention hotel.

Djokovic appealed against the decision and five days later a judge ruled in his favor, it appears he has been freed to play at the Australian Open starting Monday.

The world number one may face yet another legal challenge, but if not, his hopes of winning his 10th title and 21st Grand Slam title at Melbourne Park are over.

Djokovic’s legal team had indicated they would ask for a judicial review of the decision, but he is expected to be detained and taken back to the Park Hotel.

After being released from the hotel on Monday, Djokovic went straight to Melbourne Park and practiced every day, including on Friday morning, but his hopes of staying in the country faded as the week went on after revelations about his conduct.

Documents showed Djokovic tested positive in Serbia on 16 December, but was photographed over the next two days and issued a statement earlier this week in which he acknowledged that he played French at his tennis center in Belgrade. Had participated in an interview with the newspaper L’Equipe when he knew he had the virus.

He also admitted that his manifesto falsely claimed that he had not traveled in the 14 days prior to his trip to Australia, which he attributed to the fault of his agent.

The way the Australian government has handled the situation has been severely criticized but public opinion has been in favor of Djokovic’s deportation.

Sympathy has also been in short supply from his fellow players, many of whom were skeptical of getting the vaccine, with world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas telling India’s WION news channel: “A very small group followed their own way. Chosen and it kind of makes the majority look like they’re all idiots.”

Following Djokovic’s detention, two others – Czech player Renata Vorakova and an official – who had entered the country with similar exemptions, were also informed that it was not valid and both left Australia without challenging the decision. Gave.

Djokovic’s name remained in the draw for the tournament and is likely to remain so until it is clear whether he is leaving the country or fighting a decision, but for the situation to be resolved before play resumes. Time is running out fast.