Australia Cancels Visa of Serbia’s Djokovic for Second Time
By Staff, Agencies
Novak Djokovic is facing deportation from Australia after Immigration Minister Alex Hawke personally intervened to cancel the Serbian star’s visa.
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr. Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” said Hawke in a statement on Friday.
Hawke stepped in after a Melbourne federal circuit court reversed the initial decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa, which was taken at the Australian border when the 34-year-old arrived in the country last week.
Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, was granted a medical exemption by Tennis Australia and the Victoria state authorities to compete at this month’s Australian Open, based on his recovery from a COVID infection in December.
But federal officials have deemed that insufficient for Djokovic to be allowed in the country. They had previously detained him at a notorious Melbourne immigration facility before the judge’s decision on Monday.
The Serb is a nine-time Australian Open champion and was included in Thursday’s draw for this year’s event despite the ongoing uncertainty over his fate.
Djokovic and his legal team will now face another battle to overturn the latest decision by Hawke, after the likes of Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had signaled a hard line on the issue.
“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr. Djokovic,” added the statement from Hawke.
“The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.”