Scandal with Novak Djokovic in Australia: he has been held at the airport for more than seven hours due to visa problems

Djokovic had reported that he received special permission to contest the Australian Open (Photo: Instagram / Novak Djokovic)
Djokovic had reported that he received special permission to contest the Australian Open (Photo: Instagram / Novak Djokovic)

The scandal surrounding the medical exemption he received Novak Djokovic To play the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of the season, he added a new chapter at midnight in the country that hosts the tournament: They delayed their departure from the local airport after questions about the evidence that supports their special permit and also when detecting potential problems with the requested visa.

The australian newspaper The Age reported that the plane carrying the Serbian, number 1 in the ATP ranking, landed around 11:30 p.m. at the Tullamarine International Airport in Melbourne, Victoria, but the The athlete has not yet been authorized to cross migration borders, his cell phone was taken from him and he is being interrogated by Border Force agents in a room at the site.. After 4.30 in the morning of Australia there was no news of his situation, completing more than seven hours held.

The team that traveled with him waits in another part of the airport while two security agents guard the room where the 34-year-old athlete is. Meanwhile, his father Srdjan Djokovic, threatened the situation: “My son has been captive for 5 hours. It is a fight for freedom in the world, it is not just a Novak fight. If they don’t let him go in half an hour we will hit the streets. It is a fight of all “, in statements made to the Serbian media and broadcast by the Australian television program Sunrise on Channel 7.

The scandal also exploded in Serbia, where different media denounced that the player he is incommunicado, since they prevented him from using his cell phone and having contact with his staff. At the same time, they warned that it is escorted by two police officers at the door of said room. “They treat him like a criminal,” said the newspaper The Telegraph.

“The Australian Border Force contacted the state government after learning of a problem with the visa presented by Djokovic’s team”, said the aforementioned media that clarified that the tennis player tried to enter the country “With a visa that does not allow medical exemptions for not being vaccinated”, according to the sources contacted.

Tennis Australia, at the helm of the sports organization, confirmed that the vast majority of requests they received for medical exemptions from players were done by people who had coronavirus in the last six months. The newspaper The Age, which replicated the versions of three high-level sources that decided to provide information in off the récord, Clarified that it was “very likely” that Djokovic’s exemption was granted “for that reason”.

However, the federal government has doubts as to whether there is adequate documentation to prove the rationale for its exemption, evidence that must be presented at the borders by those who are not vaccinated.

Novak Djokovic's team published on social networks an image from the airport waiting for the authorities' decision
Novak Djokovic’s team published on social networks an image from the airport waiting for the authorities’ decision

The topic exceeded sports and became a worldwide debate about the special permission he had received Nole to face the outstanding tournament without being vaccinated against the coronavirus. In Australia clarify that it is “likely” that they will allow enter Melbourne, but This “error” is delaying their normal access to the country and the situation was still ongoing taking into account that in that part of the world they already pass the early hours of the morning of Thursday, January 6.

The 34-year-old player was at the center of criticism because last Tuesday he announced on his social networks that he had received special permission to play the first major tournament on the circuit of the season. “I had a fantastic quality time with my loved ones during the holidays and today I am heading to Australia with a waiver permit.”, he wrote in a post of his Instagram along with a photo of your suitcases. Although it was not clarified at what point it was supported Nole To require this special authorization, the regulations propose five possible arguments to make before the expert committee.

The event became a political issue in Australia, to the point that hours before his arrival in the country Prime Minister Scott Morrison left him a strong warning: “We are awaiting your presentation and the evidence you provide to support it. . If those tests are insufficient, you will not be treated differently from others and you will be on the next plane back home.. There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all. “

The Australian Border Force (ABF) sought the go-ahead from the Victorian government to authorize their entry and the entity required federal authorities to put the request in writing, but ultimately rejected the option of sponsoring Djokovic’s visa. The ABF, however, has the opportunity to enable Serbian documentation.

“The federal government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic’s visa application to enter Australia. We will not provide Novak Djokovic with individual visa application assistance to participate in the Grand Slam of the Australian Open in 2022. We’ve always been clear on two points: visa approvals are a matter for the federal government and medical exemptions are a matter for doctors.”, He announced on his account Twitter the Minister of Sports, Jaala Pulford.

Novak Djokovic had received clearance to play the Australian Open (Photo: Reuters)
Novak Djokovic had received clearance to play the Australian Open (Photo: Reuters)

The situation picture is not at all simple considering that a statement signed by the Minister of Internal Affairs, Karen Andrews, indicated in the last hours that “Any individual seeking to enter Australia must comply with our strict border requirements”. Beyond the ok that Djokovic received to play the tournament by the local body in charge of tennis and the government of Victoria – the state where the contest will be held – the Commonwealth government is in charge of enforcing the requirements to allow the crossing of the national border.

The truth is that while all this event of global resonance happens, Australians queue up to nine hours to undergo a coronavirus test due to the high demand for the rebound in infections in the country, which this Wednesday reported almost 65,000 infections and 19 deceased.

News in development …


“They treat him like a criminal”: they denounce that Novak Djokovic is incommunicado in Australia
Tension in Australia over Djokovic’s medical exemption: “If the tests are insufficient, he will go home on the next plane”
Novak Djokovic received an exemption from the coronavirus vaccine and will play the Australian Open
Behind the scenes of the Djokovic controversy: the five exceptions that allow you to play the Australian Open without getting vaccinated


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