The saga surrounding unvaccinated tennis star Novak Djokovic (34) was decided Sunday after a hearing in Melbourne. His visa application has been canceled and he will not be allowed to play in the Australian Open.
“I am deeply disappointed by the court’s decision to reject my appeal for legal review of the minister’s decision to revoke my visa, which means that I cannot remain in Australia and participate in the Australian Open,” Djokovic said in a statement.
The Australian Federal Court upheld the denial of Novak Djokovic’s visa application. The decision was made just before 8 a.m. Norwegian time. And so, Djokovic’s last hope of playing the crucial Australian Open, which kicks off on Monday, is gone.
Ranked as the best tennis player in the world, Djokovic has won 20 Grand Slam titles in his career. Only Swiss Roger Federer (40) and Spaniard Rafael Nadal (35) have the same number of victories in the most prestigious sports tournaments. Nobody has won the Australian Open more than the Serb’s nine.
The hearing with Novak Djokovic began at 9.30 local time in Melbourne, at 23.30 Norwegian time on Saturday, in the Federal Court in Melbourne. After more than five hours, the trial was postponed.
The Australian Court states that the full reasoning will be published at a later time.
– I respect the court’s decision and want to cooperate with the authorities in order for me to leave the country. Djokovic says I’m not comfortable with the focus I’ve had in recent weeks and hopefully we can all now focus on the sport and tournament I love.
Hearing in Melbourne
Djokovic landed in Australia on January 5 as unprotected and was interrogated by border guards. The Serb is said to have said he contracted the coronavirus in December and has demanded exemption from Australian entry requirements. Since then, the eyes of the world have been on sports dramas of significant political proportions.
The issue generated tremendous interest as our tennis colleagues, prime ministers and other ministers spoke.
On Friday, Immigration Minister Alex Hook revoked Djokovic’s visa for the second time. Australia has strict entry rules as a result of the Corona epidemic, and Djokovic, who is not vaccinated, has tried to enter the country by obtaining medical exemptions.
There were three justices present at the hearing: Allsopp, Pisanko and Okallaghan, the same Federal Court reports Twitter. The hearing was broadcast from the courtroom on YouTube on the Australian Federal Court channel.
Attorney Nick Wood spoke on behalf of Djokovic. He referred to Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who before the hearing had expressed concerns that anti-vaccine attitudes would spread if the tennis player was allowed to stay.
1 of 2Photo: DAVE HUNT/EPA
The controversy over the status of the vaccine
– We assume that the minister did not think about what could happen at another exit: that his visa was canceled and his journey stopped. It is quite clear that this could lead to anti-vaccine attitudes.
The lawyer also noted that there were no demonstrations against vaccinations in any of the tournaments in which Djokovic participated.
The lawyer also believes that the federal government has not done anything to know Djokovic’s stance on vaccines today and believes the government is based on a BBC article two years ago.
The government believes that Djokovic could have used the opportunity at the hearing to make his position clear, but according to the government, he did not.
– Obviously he can. He could have clarified the matter if something needed clarification or correction. He did not, Stephen Lloyd, the government’s attorney in the case, said, and it has important consequences.
He also rejected the other side’s theory that anti-vaccine demonstrations could occur if Djokovic was fired. According to Lloyd, the immigration minister’s overriding principle is to prevent ordinary people from following Djokovic’s example.
I had to go back to booking
The 34-year-old arrived at court after being driven from a quarantine hotel to courtrooms in Melbourne.
Djokovic Had to go back to booking When the meeting was adjourned to Friday.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke has expressed concern that others will follow the lead of the tennis world champion.
“His behavior can help encourage or influence others to do what he’s doing, and avoid complying with orders after testing positive for corona, which in itself can lead to further spread,” Hook said.
Djokovic said he tested positive for coronavirus on December 16. On December 17, Djokovic was photographed at a tennis rally in Belgrade. The 34-year-old claims that he did not receive an answer to the PCR test at the time, but had a negative rapid test.
The answer to the PCR test, which should have been positive, was supposed to come later on December 17. On December 18, Djokovic gave an interview to French L’Equipe.
Djokovic explained on Instagram that he felt compelled to do the interview, and did not want to disappoint the journalist. Now he regrets it, although he claims to have stayed away from him and used a face mask.
– It was a miscalculation, and I had to rebook the agreement, Djokovic stated.
According to Serbian rules at the time, anyone who tested positive for coronavirus must be quarantined for 14 days.
World Champion Casper Rudd (23) is also in Australia. He will face Alex Mulkan of Slovakia, ranked 74 (24) in the first round. The tournament starts on Monday.
This has happened since Djokovic got on the plane in Spain:
January 4: Djokovic tells on Instagram that he is traveling to Australia with an exemption permit, which refers to the Corona rules:
January 5: Djokovic arrives in Melbourne from Spain. Border guards interrogated him.
January 6: He is denied his visa and transferred to a quarantine hotel at the Park Hotel in Melbourne. Prime Minister Scott Morrison said at a press conference that the corona in the past six months is not enough for a quarantine-free access to the country.
January 10: A hearing is held for Djokovic. The judge decides that Djokovic can be released from the quarantine hotel, but also makes it clear that the immigration minister has the right to deport Djokovic. Interviews with border police have been published.
January 11: Australian Border Police are investigating whether Djokovic provided false information prior to his arrival in Australia.
January 12: Djokovic says his support team has provided additional information. The Australian Border Police is investigating the circumstances surrounding a positive test in December.
January 13: Djokovic tied with compatriot Miomir Kekmanovic in the first round of the Australian Open.
January 14: Australian Minister of Immigration, Alex Hawke, withdraws Djokovic’s visa for the Australian Open.
January 16: The Australian Federal Court in Melbourne upholds the rejection of Djokovic’s visa application. Thus, Djokovic is sent out of the country and loses the Australian Open.
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