Tennis star Novak Djokovic's Australia visa revoked again; Three-year ban on the cards?
World renowned and Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic's Australia visa was revoked on Friday for the second time. The visa cancellation comes after the tennis star arrived in the country without a Covid-19 vaccine. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke stated that the move to cancel Djokovic's visa was a decision in the "public interest". Hawke added that he acted on "health and good order grounds on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so".
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also stood by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke's decision to revoke Novak Djokovic's visa as he said that it serves to protect Australia during the pandemic. "This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods. Together we have achieved one of the lowest death rates, strongest economies and highest vaccination rates, in the world. Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected. This is what the Minister is doing in taking this action today," Australian PM Scott Morrison said in a media statement.
As per a AFP report, the visa cancellation effectively means Djokovic would be barred from a new Australian visa for three years, except under certain circumstances.
It is, however, not clear if Djokovic will be deported immediately or whether the tennis player's legal team will challenge the decision.
Djokovic had arrived in Australia last week but was detained as he was not vaccinated. The sportsman, however, attributed the no vaccination status to testing positive in December 2021. The Australian government stated that testing positive cannot be grounds for a no vaccination status.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke's overturned a judge's decision who had ruled on Monday that Djokovic should be allowed to stay.
Djokovic's ambition of a 10th Australian Open title and a record 21st Grand Slam no hangs in the balance.