Australia withdraws Djokovic’s visa for the second time and opens the door to his deportation | sports
The decision was long overdue, but Alex Hawke, the Australian Immigration Minister, finally exercised the authority granted to him by his position and, in a personal capacity, again canceled the visa of Novak Djokovic, who intends to defend the title of champion of the Australian Open that kicks off in Melbourne next Monday, and which has the world’s number one as its main claim. The Serbian player, whose visa was already invalidated by the country’s Border Forces on Wednesday of last week upon arrival at Tullamarine airport, was released on Monday, after being isolated for five days in a quarantine hotel and after Judge Anthony Kelly will vacate the first arrest warrant. The agents detained him when he disembarked because they considered the medical exemption irregular that, on paper, should allow him to circumvent the 14 days of mandatory quarantine imposed by Australia on any unvaccinated visitor. Since then, Immigration, with Hawke at the helm, has been evaluating what the next step was, and it arrived a few minutes before six in the afternoon this Friday – Australian time.
“Today I have exercised my authority under section 133C (3) of the Immigration Act to cancel Novak Djokovic’s visa, for reasons of health and good order, based on the public interest,” Hawke said in a statement. “Before making this decision, I carefully examined the information provided to me by the Department of the Interior, the Australian Border Force and Mr. Djokovic,” continues the minister, before concluding: “The Government of Scort Morrison is firmly committed to protecting the borders of Australia, especially in relation to the covid-19 pandemic ″.
Alex Hawke, the Australian Minister for Immigration, has canceled Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa “on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.”
– Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 14, 2022
It is expected that the tennis player’s lawyers will immediately appeal a measure that corners Nole a few days after his theoretical debut in the tournament (the draw was held this Thursday), and that could lead to his arrest in the next few hours. In the event that the appeal is unsuccessful, the procedures for his immediate expulsion from Australia would begin. However, before Djokovic will be questioned again by immigration agents.
Djokovic made an irregularity in his declaration of entry into Australia, when he answered “no” to the question whether he had traveled in the 14 days prior to his flight to Melbourne (he arrived on January 6). On December 25 he was in Belgrade and at the end of the year he moved to Marbella, where he trained at the Puente Romano tennis club, and from there he flew to Australia. According to the Serbian, it was a mistake made by his team. In addition, the Serbian tennis player admitted that on December 18 he attended an interview in Belgrade despite knowing that the day before, in which he had already participated in a public event, he tested positive.
The decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa has been made amid strong political tensions within Australia, which holds national elections in May (the liberal coalition of current Prime Minister Scott Morrison is seeking a fourth consecutive term). The case has also involved a diplomatic clash with Serbia over the “indecent” treatment, according to the Balkan country, which was dispensed to Djokovic after his first arrest at the airport.
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