Novak Djokovic slammed twice: Australia revokes visa again with chances of deportation
Australia -The Australian government has revoked the visa of Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic yet again, just before the Australian Open is scheduled to begin in Melbourne on January 17. Exercising his personal power on Friday, the immigration minister of Australia, Alex Hawke canceled Djokovic’s visa in the latest twist that has cast shadow on world’s No 1 tennis player’s participation in the upcoming grand slam. With the visa revoked for the second time by Mr. Hawke, it is a possibility that Djokovic might be deported from Australia and banned for three years.
Alex Hawke has used his ministerial discretion to revoke 34-year-old Djokovic’s Australian visa citing public interest. Djokovic’s lawyers had appealed at the Federal Circuit and Family Court last week on procedural grounds after his Australian visa was first canceled as landed at a Melbourne airport and thereafter detained. If deported, Djokovic can effectively be banned from entering the country for three years. Minister Hawke has said that he has canceled the Serbian player’s visa on “health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.” He further added that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government “is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The whole saga has caught Australia on the nerves. Djokovic has not been vaccinated against Covid-19 but could secure an Australian visa on medical exemption grounds that he had been positive for coronavirus in December. This is not aligned with the Australian rules that require all players, support teams, staff and all fans to be fully vaccinated ahead of the Australian Open. Furthermore, Victoria state – where the tournament is taking place – has been critical about the Djokovic issue as the state has been under the strictest of lockdowns for long durations and 90 percent of people of eligible vaccine age in the state are vaccinated.
In fact, Prime Minister Morrison to has supported the probable deportation of Djokovic. “This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods. … Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected,” Morrison said in a statement. “This is what the Minister is doing in taking this action today.”