Novak Djokovic: the tennis player is deported from Australia after losing his legal battle
The tennis player Novak Djokovic he lost his last judicial attempt to stay in Australia and He was deported this Sunday from the country. The tennis player arrived in Belgrade on Monday.
Three judges of the Federal Court of Australia unanimously dismissed his appeal and his defense that the authorities’ arguments to deport him were “invalid and illogical”, and gave the reason to the Australian government to cancel the Serb’s visa for the second time.
The 34-year-old athlete had entered the country on January 6 without being vaccinated and the government argued that he represented a public health threat.
The measure leaves without playing the Australian Open, which begins this Monday, and without being able to conquer his 21st Grand Slam title, a record to beat whose only contender is now the Spanish Rafael Nadal.
And according to immigration laws, when deported, he will not be able to apply for a visa in three years and, as a consequence, to compete in the country during that period. Although Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday that could be allowed to enter the country “under the right circumstances”.
Another tournament whose doors are closed if you do not get vaccinated is Roland Garros, which will take place from May 22 to June 5.
The French government, which days ago had indicated that Djokovic could participate in the competition even if he was not, rectified on Sunday night and warned that all tennis players must have the complete vaccination schedule, as will be required of the public and the professionals involved.
The rectification came from the hand of Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu hours after Parliament adopted the bill that will impose a vaccination certificate for many social activities, including sports.
Djokovic has said he is “extremely disappointed” but respects the Australian court’s decision, made on the eve of their first match.
“I will cooperate with the authorities for my departure from the country, he had said in a statement on Sunday.
The judges said they will explain their reasoning at a later date.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison applauded “the decision to keep our borders strong and maintain insurance to australians“.
“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic and they rightly expect the outcome of those sacrifices to be protected,” the politician said.
A group of supporters of the Serbian tennis player waiting outside the courtroom fell silent when the decision to deport him was announced. One of them told the BBC his summer would be “empty” without the 34-year-old competing in Melbourne.
Djokovic brought the court case after Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his ministerial powers to cancel his visa, arguing that the athlete’s presence in the country could stoke anti-vaccine sentiment.
It was the second time that his visa was revoked, after another judge annulled a first cancellation for not complying with the rules of entry into the country established with the pandemic.
“No one is above the law”
Sunday’s decision marks the end of a controversial plot of 10 days about Djokovic’s Australian visa.
There has been a lot of public commotion in Australia over the player’s attempt to enter the country without getting vaccinated against covid.
The federal government has repeatedly said that people must comply with the strict laws in place to deal with the pandemic and that “no one is above the law.”
Djokovic, who is currently the number one tennis player in the world, originally received a medical exemption to enter Australia by two independent health panels: one run by Tennis Australia, the other by the Victorian state government.
The reason for that exemption, according to his lawyers, was that he had tested positive for coronavirus in mid-December.
However, he was detained by the Australian Border Force on January 5 for failing to comply with federal coronavirus requirements.
A judge later overturned that decision, but the government stepped in last Friday to revoke the visa again, saying doing so was of public interest.
a political battle
Despite the fact that Djokovic is not vaccinated against covid-19, has not actively promoted anti-vaccine misinformation.
However, Australian anti-vaccines have been using the hashtag #IStandWithDjokovic (I support Djokovic) on social media.
The legal battle over Djokovic’s visa has also become a political dispute in the country.
In his statement on Sunday, Morrison said the government was “prepared to take the necessary decisions and actions to protect the integrity of our borders“.
Separately, Australian opponent Kristina Keneally said Morrison had become a “laughing stock” by mishandling Djokovic’s case, questioning why the unvaccinated player was granted a visa in the first place.
Morrison and his government also faced negative comments from the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.
“He [Djokovic] he arrived in Australia on a medical exemption and was then treated poorly for 10 days. Why did they do it? Why did they do such a witch hunt against him? This is something that no one can understand,” said the Serbian politician.
British tennis star Andy Murray, who has known Djokovic since they were children and has competed against him for the sport’s biggest prizes, said the situation was “not good” for anyone.
“It seems like this all happened at the last moment and that’s why it became a disasterMurray told the BBC.
In his statement on Sunday, Djokovic said he was “uncomfortable” with the attention being placed on him by the visa revocation.
“I hope that now we can all focus on the game and the tournament that I love,” he said.
The Italian Salvatore Caruso, who is ranked 150th in the world rankings, will replace Djokovic in his match against Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic on Monday.
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