Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on his Twitter account the cancellation of Novak Djokovic’s visa, who was trying to enter the country to play a tennis tournament but was denied entry as he was not vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“Mr. Djokovic’s visa was canceled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. Nadia is above the law. Our strong border policy has been key to Australia having one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the world, we will continue to be vigilant in this, ”Morrison wrote on the social network.
If he is finally deported, the Serbian tennis player would be without the possibility of playing, as of January 17, the Australian Open, where He was looking for his 10th title and to break the Grand Slams record that he now shares with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal (all three with 20)..
The Serbian, who in the past was reluctant to be vaccinated against covid-19 and has repeatedly refused to confirm whether he was inoculated, had obtained a “medical derogation” to be able to participate in the first Grand Slam of the season, a tournament that has conquered nine times.
This caused the rejection of the press, the population and even the Australian political class, who accused those responsible for treating the Serbian in favor.
According to the Australian press, the nine-time Australian Open champion, who took the plane to Melbourne on Tuesday, would not have filled out the correct form for the type of visa requested.
“Mr Djokovic did not provide adequate evidence to meet Australia entry requirements and his visa was canceled”The Australian Border Force announced in a statement.
“Non-citizens who do not have a valid entry visa or whose visa has been canceled will be detained and expelled from Australia,” added border authorities.
“The Australian Border Force will continue to ensure that all those arriving at our border comply with our laws and entry requirements.”They insisted in the statement.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison had already warned before the Serbian tennis player’s arrival in Melbourne that if the reasons for Djokovic’s exemption were “insufficient”, the Serbian would be “on the next plane back” home.
All participants of the Australian Open, which begins on January 17, must be vaccinated against covid-19 or have an exemption granted by two committees of independent experts.
Shortly before knowing the cancellation of Djokovic’s visa, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic accused the Australian authorities of “mistreating” the world’s number one tennis player.
In a message on Instagram, Vucic assured that “all of Serbia is with him and our authorities are studying all measures so that this mistreatment of the best tennis player in the world ends as soon as possible.”.
Earlier, the tennis player’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, assured that his son “has been captive for five hours” in Melbourne and that he had “no idea what is happening,” in statements to the Sputnik Serbia channel.
“This is a fight for freedom in the world, it is not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world“Added the father, who even threatened protests in the streets if his son was not released” in half an hour. “
Later, when the cancellation of the visa was known, Srdjan Djokovic wrote a message on Instagram: Deportation! Our pride, our Novak is coming back … we should all give him the welcome he deserves! ”
Djokovic voiced his opposition to the coronavirus vaccine in April 2020, when it was raised that it might be mandatory to resume tournaments.
“Personally I am not provaccine,” Djokovic declared then. “I do not want someone to force me to be vaccinated to travel.”