Australian Open: The Australian Government alleges that Djokovic is a threat to its health policy | sports
The resolution of the case that has put the Government of Australia against the wall, attacking it precisely on its historically most protected flank, should be announced in the next few hours. The conflict between Novak Djokovic and the country’s Immigration department will offer its last act starting at 9:30 a.m. this Sunday -in Australian time, 11:30 p.m. this Saturday in mainland Spain-. Depending on what the judge of the Federal Courts rules, David O’Callaghan, the 34-year-old Serbian, may debut this Monday at the Australian Open. On the contrary, if the appeal presented by his lawyers does not prosper, he will star in one of the most mediatic deportation processes of recent times.
After Alex Hawke, the Australian Immigration Minister, decided to exercise the authority that his position gives him and cancel Djokovic’s visa again this Friday afternoon, the world number one was arrested on Saturday morning (Australian time). after being questioned by Immigration officials, and transferred to an expressly undetermined whereabouts but which later turned out to be the Park Hotel in the Carlton neighborhood, the same establishment where the tennis player was already held and in isolation for five days, since Thursday of the last week until Monday of this, upon arrival in Melbourne. A couple of dozen protesters gathered there demanding the release of the nearly 30 people held there, seeking political asylum.
Both the legal services contracted by the tennis player and the representatives of the Government met twice before the judge (once on Friday at the last minute and another on Saturday), and agreed to present all the available documentation before ten o’clock tonight -noon this Saturday in Spain.
Hawke is Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s right-hand man on all matters relating to Australia’s border policies. Precisely for this reason, both have made the Djokovic affair a matter of state. According to the allegations that Hawke articulated when invalidating the player’s visa, his presence poses a threat to the vaccination policy against covid that is promoted among the population, which has not yet reached 78% with the complete guideline received. And, in addition, it has been proven that he lied on his declaration of entry to Australia. To defend his position, Hawke uses the interview conducted by Nole on December 18, granted to the newspaper LÉquipe, which he did not cancel despite knowing that he had tested positive for covid.
“Mr. Djokovic has publicly acknowledged that it was an error of judgment to appear for that interview, and that he should have rescheduled it since he had already received the positive test,” Hawke stated in documents made public this Saturday. For the minister, Djokovic’s position as a public figure can “encourage a contempt similar to his for the requirements and rules that must be followed after receiving a positive covid contagion test”.
Somehow, Hawke’s fears seem justified if you look at the 200 anti-vaccination protesters who gathered outside Rod Laver Arena, chanting “free Novak” and “let him play.” On the contrary, the lawyers on behalf of the tennis player sought to highlight the persecution to which their client is subjected for not being vaccinated, and wanted to highlight his “philanthropic behavior towards Australia”, specifically for his generous donations “in favor of the investigation of the coronavirus, and of help in the fight against the fires that habitually ravage Australia¨, the lawyers of the law firm Hall & Wilcox have stated in a letter.
Nadal: “no tennis player is above the Australian Open”
Rafa Nadal, for his part, expressed himself in this way about a possible absence of Djokovic from the tournament that begins this Monday: “there is no tennis player who is above an event like the Australian Open.” He said so at the press conference.
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