Tennis star Novak Djokovic's visa revoked for 2nd time by Australia, faces deportation

A second appeal has been launched.

Matthias Ang | January 15, 2022, 01:13 PM

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Australia has revoked the visa of nine-time Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic again, opening up the prospect of deportation for the tennis star, the BBC reported.

The decision was announced by the country's Minister for Immigration Alex Hawke who said in a statement that he had exercised his powers under the Migration Act, and that it was done on the basis of public interest.

It was subsequently affirmed by Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said that the decision had been taken "following careful consideration".

Morrison added, "Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected. This is what the Minister is doing in taking this action today."

Deportation delayed

Djokovic's legal team has since sought an injunction against his deportation.

BBC further reported that Australia has also agreed to delay his removal from the country until his fresh appeal has run through its course.

The court hearing is set on the morning of Jan. 16, local time 9:30am.

Meanwhile, Djokovic is being detained.

How did the hullabaloo reach this point?

Detained on Jan. 6, released on Jan. 10

Earlier on Monday, Jan. 10, Djokovic had his visa re-instated by an Australian judge after he won an appeal against the initial decision to cancel his visa.

The judge also ordered Djokovic to be released from detention.

He had first arrived in the country on Jan. 6 to play at the Australia Open, but was detained at the airport, being before taken to a hotel.

Players in the Australia Open had been told they would either have to be fully vaccinated or secure a medical exemption from an independent panel of experts in order to participate.

On Jan. 4, Djokovic put up a post on Instagram in which he said that he was heading to Australia with an exemption.

In a separate statement on the same day, organisers for the Australia Open said that Djokovic's exemption had been granted after a "rigorous review process" that involved two separate independent panels of medical experts.

Djokovic's legal team launched the aforementioned appeal in response.

Djokovic admits to going for media interview after testing positive for Covid-19 in Dec. 2021

Australian media ABC News further reported that the crux of Djokovic's appeal lay in a positive Covid-19 result on Dec. 16, 2021.

Nine News reported that on the same day his visa was re-instated, questions emerged about Djokovic's movement following his positive test result.

On Jan. 12, Djokovic put up an Instagram post in which he explained that he had taken a PCR test on Dec. 16 and attended a tennis event in Belgrade on Dec. 17, to present awards to children.

In addition, he had also tested negative for an ART test that he took just before the Dec. 17 event.

Following the event, Djokovic received the notice that his PCR test result was positive.

The tennis player admitted that he subsequently went ahead with a media interview on Dec. 18, despite knowing his result, and called it an "error of judgement."

Questions raised over Djokovic's travel entry form to Australia

Questions were also raised as to whether Djokovic had lied on his travel entry form to Australia, ABC News further reported.

One of the questions asked on the form is whether the applicant has entered other countries or made plans to enter other countries during the 14 days prior to entering Australia.

BBC reported that Djokovic ticked a box declaring that he had not travelled anywhere for two weeks prior to entering Australia, despite the fact that he had been to Spain.

Djokovic subsequently stated in his Jan. 12 post that it was an "administrative mistake" by his agent.

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A post shared by Novak Djokovic (@djokernole)

In response to queries from ABC News about Djokovic's travel information, a spokesperson for the Australian Border Force (ABF) was quoted as saying;

"Providing false or misleading information or documentation to the Commonwealth can lead to visa cancellation and/or attract penalties, including under criminal law."

Separately, Spanish media have also raised questions about Djokovic's entry into Spain as unvaccinated Serbians are banned from entering the country.

However, Spain's interior ministry has said that it is not investigating the matter, Politico reported.

Djokovic is scheduled to play at the Australia Open on the morning of Jan. 17.

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Top image via Novak Djokovic's Facebook