Home Sport Australian Open: Australian Immigration Minister cancels Djokovic’s visa

Australian Open: Australian Immigration Minister cancels Djokovic’s visa

Australian Open: Australian Immigration Minister cancels Djokovic's visa

“Today I exercised my power to cancel the visa for reasons of health and good order, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” the minister said.

Novak Djokovic training Wednesday in Melbourne.AP

Is Djokovic a risk to the health, safety and good order of the Australian community? That was the question, based on the Australian Migration Law, that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke had to answer to decide whether to withdraw the Serbian tennis player’s visa again. It took five days to pronounce. But we already have an answer: Djokovic’s Covid infection in December does not make him eligible for a vaccine exemption that breaks the rules of entry into the country. Therefore, your visa is cancelled.

Hawke has made the decision to deport the number 1 in tennis. Section 133 of the Immigration Law granted him that exceptional power to be judge, jury and executioner in the media case of the tennis player.

“Today I exercised my power to cancel the visa of Mr. Novak Djokovic for reasons of health and good order, on the grounds that it was in the public interest to do so. This decision followed orders from the Federal Circuit and Family Court on January 10, 2022, overturning a previous cancellation decision on grounds of procedural fairness. In making this decision, I have carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of the Interior, the Australian Border Force and Mr. Djokovic,” Hawke said in a statement.

The Morrison Government is strongly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. I am grateful to the officers of the Department of the Interior and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve Australia’s interests in increasingly challenging operating environments.”

But Djokovic’s court match against the Australian government is not over yet.

Your legal team going toappeal this Friday before a federal court the decision of the minister and avoid the immediate deportation of the tennis player, who will be forced, if he does not decide of his own free will to leave the country, to return again to an immigration detention center. The judicial process can be prolonged until next week, even after the Australian Open has started, but the Serb’s lawyers are going to try to get his brief to court quickly and for a judge to rule in his favor on Sunday.


At the beginning of January, the Serbian star had a clear plan. Officials from the state of Victoria and the Australian tennis governing body had given him the green light, via medical exemption, to enter Melbourne. despite not being vaccinated, as dictated by the country’s border guideline. Djokovic was ready to defend his Open title and become the tennis player with the most Grand Slams in history.

Instead, the plan went awry for the Serb when he collided against the Australian bureaucratic nightmare and the harsh immigration policy. First, border officials revoked his visa and held him incommunicado for eight hours at the airport. He was then detained for five days in a hotel converted into a prison for refugees and asylum seekers. Some of his classmates at the center had been trapped in a loop of arrests for up to nine years.

On Monday, a federal judge overturned the visa cancellation and immediately released him from detention. Djokovic had won the first match against Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government. Border agents made several mistakes when they detained the tennis player at Melbourne airport, denying him procedural fairness in the hours that followed. They did not give him the time estimated by the country’s legislation to contact his lawyers and receive advice.

That was used by his lawyers in his argument. And the judge agreed with them. The issue of the medical exemption, backed by an independent panel convened by the Victorian authorities, was pushed to the background, although the central government continued to insist that previous Covid infection in the last six months is not a valid exemption for not being vaccinated.

Precisely, Djokovic’s positive a month earlier was what generated the following controversy. The Serb arrived in Australia with a medical exemption to the vaccine which he achieved by showing Australian tennis authorities that he had tested positive for a PCR test on December 16.


On Wednesday, in a message on his Instagram account where he intended to “address the continuing misinformation about my activities,” Djokovic explained that on the 16th he had a rapid antigen test, which came back negative. A PCR test was also done that same day, the result of which, this time positive, was given to him on December 17. But in his affidavit in court, Djokovic said he was “examined and diagnosed” on December 16.

This week, the German newspaper Der Spiegel public that, following the data of the URL of the result of Djokovic’s PCR, this would have actually been carried out on December 26 with a negative result that later became positive. Then the assumptions began about whether the Serbian Public Health Institute, where the tennis player had been tested, could have changed the negative result so that his national star, a firm defender of the freedom of each one when it comes to getting vaccinated or not. , could get the medical exemption to be able to play the Australian Open.

Following the judge’s ruling in their favour, Australian immigration officials began investigating a series of errors and discrepancies related to that PCR. In addition to the failure to comply with the isolation requirements in Serbia after testing positive. Djokovic did not keep the two protocol weeks of quarantine after testing positive as established by the norm of his country. Even in his letter on Instagram on Wednesday, he acknowledged the mistake of going on December 18, already knowing that he was infected, to an interview with a journalist from the French newspaper L’quipe.

The authorities also investigated the error on the country entry form, in which the Serb marked that he had not traveled outside of Serbia in the two weeks prior to his arrival, when He was training in Spain before catching the plane to Melbourne. An error that Djokovic blamed on his agent.

The last word was had by Minister Hawke, a strong man trusted by the Australian Prime Minister, who has made the decision that Djokovic, who had been training on the Melbourne slopes since Tuesday, cannot fight to win a new Grand Slam.

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Reference from elmundo