Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke canceled the visa of the world’s number one tennis player, the Serbian Novak Djokovic, for the second time, leading to his deportation.
“Today I have exercised my power under section 133C (3) of the Immigration Law to cancel the visa of Mr. Novak Djokovic based on sanitary reasons and the maintenance of order because it is in the public interest,” the minister said in a brief statement noting that he “carefully” examined the information provided by the parties.
Djokovic traveled to Melbourne on January 5 with a medical exemption that allowed him to play in the Australian Open without being vaccinated, although later the Customs authorities canceled his visa and detained him until Monday a court ruling gave him the reason for the tennis player.
Lawyers for the 34-year-old Serb are expected to appeal this decision in court.
Djokovic had declared that he had not traveled in the previous 14 days, but the truth is that he had moved from Serbia to Spain, while in his country of origin he granted an interview to a French media knowing that he was positive for covid-19 .
The world number one entered the Australian Open draw the day before, which starts on Monday, to play his first match against his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, although the impact of a new legal battle on the development of the tournament is unknown, as well as the reaction of the public in Australia, where the majority are vaccinated, against the tennis player.
´ “The Government of (Scott) Morrison is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, especially in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hawke said in justifying the measure adopted after the Federal Circuit Court ordered the release of the tennis player on Monday.
That court considered that the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa a few hours after his arrival in the country, which led to his arrest, did not respect the “procedural fairness” of the world’s number 1 tennis player, who seeks to obtain his tenth Australian Open title and become the most awarded in history, with 21 Grand Slams.
🚨 AUSTRALIA CANCELED DJOKOVIC’S VISA.
— ESPN Tenis (@ESPNtenis) January 14, 2022