Novak Djokovic’s visa has once again been canceled in Australia. This time by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke. The latter suspended the Serbian’s visa in “the interest of public health”, after the world number 1 won a case in a court earlier this week rejecting a first cancellation. He will therefore not be able to compete in the Australian Open which begins on Monday.
The world number one risks a ban on entering Australia for the next three years. According to Australian media, the Serbian player’s lawyers will try to obtain an injunction against this new cancellation to allow Novak Djokovic to participate in the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.
In an official statement, the Australian Immigration Minister gave reasons for his decision: “Today I used my power under section 133C (3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr. Novak Djokovic in the interests of health and public order. In making my decision, I have carefully considered the information provided by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Authority and Mr. Novak Djokovic. “
“Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and rightly want the result of these sacrifices to be protected”, defended Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for his part.
At 10:45 a.m. Belgian time, Novak Djokovic’s lawyers will come before Judge Anthony Kelly to plead their client’s case.
Unvaccinated, Novak Djokovic had received a medical exemption to still be able to participate in the Australian Open and thus circumvent the rules put into force by the Australian government. On his arrival in Melbourne, he was arrested and placed in detention at the Park Hotel, a center which also accommodates asylum seekers pending a decision on his visa withdrawal. His call was accepted and he was thus able to go, free, to the Australian Open complex to train and prepare for the first Grand Slam lift of the year. After his visa was withdrawn again, the Serbian must now leave Australia but this saga may not be over yet.