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Australia withdraws Djokovic's visa for the second time and opens the door to his deportation

2022-01-14T09:53:48.122Z

The Serbian tennis player's lawyers will appeal the decision of the Ministry of Immigration, which leaves the athlete's participation in the Open up in the air



The decision was long in coming, but Alex Hawke, the Australian Immigration Minister, finally exercised the authority granted by his position and, in a personal capacity, once again canceled the visa of Novak Djokovic, who intends to defend the title of champion of the Australian Open that starts in Melbourne next Monday, and that presents the number one in the world as the main claim. The Serbian player, whose visa was already invalidated by the country's Border Forces on Wednesday of last week upon his arrival at Tullamarine airport, was released this Monday, after spending five days isolated in a quarantine hotel and after Judge Anthony Kelly overturned the first arrest warrant. The agents detained him when he disembarked because they considered the medical exemption to be irregular, which, on paper,it was to allow him to circumvent the mandatory 14-day quarantine imposed by Australia on any unvaccinated visitor. Since then, Immigration, with Hawke at the helm, has been evaluating what the next step was, and this came just minutes before 6pm on Friday (Australian time).

"Today I have exercised my authority under section 133C(3) of the Immigration Act to cancel Novak Djokovic's visa, for reasons of health and good order, based on the public interest," Hawke said in a statement. "Before making this decision, I carefully examined the information provided to me by the Department of the Interior, the Australian Border Force and Mr. Djokovic," continues the minister, before concluding: "The Scott Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia's borders. Australia, especially in relation to the covid-19 pandemic.”

Djokovic committed an irregularity in his declaration of entry into Australia, when he answered "no" to the question of whether he had traveled in the 14 days prior to his flight to Melbourne. On December 25 he was in Belgrade and at the end of the year he moved to Marbella, where he trained at the Puente Romano tennis club, and from there he flew to Australia. According to the Serbian, it was a mistake made by his team. In addition, the tennis player admitted that on December 18 he attended an interview in Belgrade despite knowing that the day before, in which he had already participated in a public event, he tested positive.

BREAKING:



Alex Hawke, the Australian Minister for Immigration, has canceled Novak Djokovic's Australian visa "on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so."



This is effectively a re-deportation order for the unvaccinated nine-time #AusOpen champion.

pic.twitter.com/2P611AbUiw

— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 14, 2022

The tennis player's lawyers are expected to appeal imminently a measure that corners Nole a few days after his theoretical debut in the tournament (the draw was held this Thursday), and that could lead to his arrest in the next few hours. In the event that the appeal does not prosper, the procedures for his immediate expulsion from Australia would be initiated. Before, however, Djokovic will be questioned again by Immigration agents. The Serbian tennis player has a diplomatic passport, granted by his country after the 2011 Davis Cup (they reached the quarterfinals). However, the Australian Department of Immigration ensures that this document does not grant "any special rights or privileges".

An hour after Hawke's will was made public, it was the turn of the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, who maintains a close relationship with the former, also in a personal capacity. “This pandemic has been very difficult for all Australians, who have stood together and saved lives. 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 hope that the effect of those sacrifices will be protected," emphasizes the president, who is facing the most difficult stage in terms of the number of new cases since the outbreak of the virus. The graph of positives soared at the beginning of this 2022, reaching last Wednesday to exceed 175,000 new cases, the absolute record in the country.

Part of Djokovic's statement to enter Australia, where he says that he did not travel in the 14 days prior to his flight to Australia.

The decision to cancel Djokovic's visa has been made amid strong political tensions within Australia, which is holding national elections in May (current Prime Minister Scott Morrison's liberal coalition is seeking a fourth consecutive term). The case has also led to a diplomatic clash with Serbia over the "indecent" treatment, according to the Balkan country, that Djokovic received after his first arrest at the airport. On Tuesday, Morrison spoke with Serbian Prime Minister Anna Brnabić. According to the official statement, the

premier

wanted to make it clear to his counterpart that Australian border policies are in no way discriminatory, and that the entire device that was activated was aimed at protecting the country in times of pandemic.

The organization of the Australian Open, hand in hand with the health authorities of the State of Victoria, have decided to reduce the capacity of the stands to 50% ―tickets will stop selling when that percentage is reached―, and the use of masks will be mandatory as long as you are not eating or drinking.

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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2022-01-14

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