The soap opera involving Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic in Australia gained another chapter this Friday. The day after the draw for the main draw of the first Grand Slam of the season, the world’s number 1 tennis player had his visa canceled by immigration minister Alex Hawke.
Visa cancellation does not mean immediate deportation of Djokovic. The tennis player’s lawyers are expected to seek an injunction that allows the Serb to remain in the country in freedom, thus being able to play in the first round of the Australian Open while awaiting a trial that should take place next week.
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The decision to cancel the visaNovak Djokovic is considered in the public interest by the Australian government. The first cancellation of the tennis player’s stay in the country was annulled in the Federal Court on Monday, but the immigration minister had the final word on the matter and decided to choose to send him away.
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr. Novak Djokovic for reasons of health and order, based on the public interest to do so. This decision followed orders from the Federal Court on January 10, 2022, overturning a previous cancellation decision on grounds of procedural fairness,” the minister said in his decision.
“In making this decision, I have carefully considered the information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic. The (Scott) Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic.”
In addition to deportation, if he does not appeal the decision, Novak Djokovic risks being banned from obtaining an Australian visa for the next three years.