TIMES.KY

Cayman Islands, Caribbeanand International News
Sunday, Apr 14, 2024

Novak Djokovic: Tennis star deported after losing Australia visa battle

Novak Djokovic: Tennis star deported after losing Australia visa battle

Novak Djokovic has been deported from Australia after losing a last-ditch court bid to stay in the country.

Judges rejected a challenge by the unvaccinated tennis star after the government cancelled his visa on "health and good order" grounds.

Djokovic said he was "extremely disappointed" but accepted the ruling. He has left on a flight to Dubai.

It marks the end of a 10-day saga, in which the Serb fought to stay to defend his title in the Australian Open.

Djokovic's supporters fell silent outside the courtroom as the decision was announced on the eve of what would have been his opening match in the tournament. One fan told the BBC her summer would be "empty" without the 34-year-old playing at the Open.

Supporters of the Serbian tennis star gathered outside the court on Sunday


Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed "the decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe" but his government faces criticism at home and abroad for its handling of the affair.

Why was the challenge rejected?


Djokovic launched his case after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used his powers to cancel his visa, arguing his presence in the country risked fanning anti-vaccine sentiment.

During Sunday's court hearing before a three-judge panel, Djokovic's defence unsuccessfully argued that the grounds given by the government were illogical because to deport the star also risked fanning anti-vaccine sentiment.

Chief Justice James Allsop said the court ruling was based on the legality of the minister's decision, not on whether it was the right decision to make.

He promised to release the full reasoning for the ruling in the coming days.

There has been much public anger in Australia over the player's attempt to enter the country without being vaccinated against Covid-19. The federal government has repeatedly said people must comply with the strict laws in place to deal with the pandemic, and that no-one is "above the law".

How did it take 10 days to decide the player's fate?


Djokovic was originally granted a medical exemption to enter Australia by two different independent health panels - one commissioned by Tennis Australia, the other by the state government of Victoria - after testing positive for coronavirus in mid-December.

However, the Australian Border Force detained him on 5 January for not meeting federal coronavirus requirements, and his visa was revoked.

Djokovic had been training in Melbourne for the Australian Open


A judge overturned that decision but the government stepped in last Friday to revoke the visa again, saying it was in the public interest.

Although Djokovic is not vaccinated against Covid-19, he has not actively promoted anti-vax disinformation. However, Australian anti-vaxxers have been using the hashtag #IStandWithDjokovic on social media.

Why is the government under fire?


Mr Morrison said the centre-right government was "prepared to take the decisions and actions necessary to protect the integrity" of the country's borders.

But Kristina Keneally, a senator for the opposition Labor Party, said Mr Morrison had made himself a "laughing stock on the world stage" by mishandling the Djokovic case.

The government's "litany of failures", she tweeted, had "undermined Australia's border security settings, & provided a lightning rod for the anti-vaccination movement".

A former Labor prime minister, Kevin Rudd, tweeted that the "political circus" could have been avoided had a visa not been issued in the first place.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic accused the Morrison government of conducting a "witch hunt".

"He [Djokovic] came to Australia with a medical exemption proposal and then you were mistreating him for 10 days," he said. "Why did you do it? Doing a witch hunt against him? This is something that no one can understand."

What happens next?


The Australian Open could have seen Djokovic make history by winning his 21st Grand Slam. Italy's Salvatore Caruso, ranked 150th in the world, is the "lucky loser" who will now replace Djokovic in his match against Serbia's Miomir Kecmanovic on Monday.

Djokovic said he was "uncomfortable" with the focus placed on him as a result of the the visa row, adding: "I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love."

He said he was "taking some time to rest and to recuperate" before commenting further.

Deportation orders usually include a three-year ban on returning to Australia, though this can be waived in certain circumstances.

The episode raises further questions for Djokovic, plus other tennis players who are reluctant to be vaccinated against Covid-19, for the season ahead.

Any player eyeing tournaments in America, for instance, will be aware that non-US citizens must be fully vaccinated to travel to the country "with only limited exceptions".

Former Swedish star Mats Wilander told Eurosport that Djokovic's career was "on the line and he might have to do something that he doesn't really want to do".

The men's tennis governing body ATP called the saga a "deeply regrettable series of events", while British tennis star Andy Murray said the situation was "not good" for anyone.


Moment Djokovic learns his Australian Open fate

Watch: The Djokovic visa drama in 90 seconds


Newsletter

Related Articles

TIMES.KY
0:00
0:00
Close
Paper straws found to contain long-lasting and potentially toxic chemicals - study
FTX's Bankman-Fried headed for jail after judge revokes bail
Blackrock gets half a trillion dollar deal to rebuild Ukraine
Israel: Unprecedented Civil Disobedience Looms as IDF Reservists Protest Judiciary Reform
America's First New Nuclear Reactor in Nearly Seven Years Begins Operations
Southeast Asia moves closer to economic unity with new regional payments system
Today Hunter Biden’s best friend and business associate, Devon Archer, testified that Joe Biden met in Georgetown with Russian Moscow Mayor's Wife Yelena Baturina who later paid Hunter Biden $3.5 million in so called “consulting fees”
Singapore Carries Out First Execution of a Woman in Two Decades Amid Capital Punishment Debate
Google testing journalism AI. We are doing it already 2 years, and without Google biased propoganda and manipulated censorship
Unlike illegal imigrants coming by boats - US Citizens Will Need Visa To Travel To Europe in 2024
Musk announces Twitter name and logo change to X.com
The politician and the journalist lost control and started fighting on live broadcast.
The future of sports
Unveiling the Black Hole: The Mysterious Fate of EU's Aid to Ukraine
Farewell to a Music Titan: Tony Bennett, Renowned Jazz and Pop Vocalist, Passes Away at 96
Alarming Behavior Among Florida's Sharks Raises Concerns Over Possible Cocaine Exposure
Transgender Exclusion in Miss Italy Stirs Controversy Amidst Changing Global Beauty Pageant Landscape
Joe Biden admitted, in his own words, that he delivered what he promised in exchange for the $10 million bribe he received from the Ukraine Oil Company.
TikTok Takes On Spotify And Apple, Launches Own Music Service
Global Trend: Using Anti-Fake News Laws as Censorship Tools - A Deep Dive into Tunisia's Scenario
Arresting Putin During South African Visit Would Equate to War Declaration, Asserts President Ramaphosa
Hacktivist Collective Anonymous Launches 'Project Disclosure' to Unearth Information on UFOs and ETIs
Typo sends millions of US military emails to Russian ally Mali
Server Arrested For Theft After Refusing To Pay A Table's $100 Restaurant Bill When They Dined & Dashed
The Changing Face of Europe: How Mass Migration is Reshaping the Political Landscape
China Urges EU to Clarify Strategic Partnership Amid Trade Tensions
Europe is boiling: Extreme Weather Conditions Prevail Across the Continent
The Last Pour: Anchor Brewing, America's Pioneer Craft Brewer, Closes After 127 Years
Democracy not: EU's Digital Commissioner Considers Shutting Down Social Media Platforms Amid Social Unrest
Sarah Silverman and Renowned Authors Lodge Copyright Infringement Case Against OpenAI and Meta
Italian Court's Controversial Ruling on Sexual Harassment Ignites Uproar
Why Do Tech Executives Support Kennedy Jr.?
The New York Times Announces Closure of its Sports Section in Favor of The Athletic
BBC Anchor Huw Edwards Hospitalized Amid Child Sex Abuse Allegations, Family Confirms
Florida Attorney General requests Meta CEO's testimony on company's platforms' alleged facilitation of illicit activities
The Distorted Mirror of actual approval ratings: Examining the True Threat to Democracy Beyond the Persona of Putin
40,000 child slaves in Congo are forced to work in cobalt mines so we can drive electric cars.
BBC Personalities Rebuke Accusations Amidst Scandal Involving Teen Exploitation
A Swift Disappointment: Why Is Taylor Swift Bypassing Canada on Her Global Tour?
Historic Moment: Edgars Rinkevics, EU's First Openly Gay Head of State, Takes Office as Latvia's President
Bye bye democracy, human rights, freedom: French Cops Can Now Secretly Activate Phone Cameras, Microphones And GPS To Spy On Citizens
The Poor Man With Money, Mark Zuckerberg, Unveils Twitter Replica with Heavy-Handed Censorship: A New Low in Innovation?
Unilever Plummets in a $2.5 Billion Free Fall, to begin with: A Reckoning for Misuse of Corporate Power Against National Interest
Beyond the Blame Game: The Need for Nuanced Perspectives on America's Complex Reality
Twitter Targets Meta: A Tangle of Trade Secrets and Copycat Culture
The Double-Edged Sword of AI: AI is linked to layoffs in industry that created it
US Sanctions on China's Chip Industry Backfire, Prompting Self-Inflicted Blowback
Meta Copy Twitter with New App, Threads
The New French Revolution
BlackRock Bitcoin ETF Application Refiled, Naming Coinbase as ‘Surveillance-Sharing’ Partner
×