Australian Open: Australia revokes Novak Djokovic’s visa and plans to expel him | Sports

Novak Djokovic defending the Australian Open title Which was conquered last year has exploded. The Serbian player, ranked No. 1 in the world and the main claimant of the championship, witnessed the cancellation of his visa to the country after being held for hours in a room at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport, since midnight on Wednesday (local time), after arriving on an Emirates flight from Dubai. The tennis player was interrogated and guarded by two police officers and without the possibility of communicating with the outside world, as his mobile phone was withdrawn. His detention responded to a problem with his visa to enter the country, specifically due to a defect in his medical application. Knoll, in contrast to being vaccinated against Covid-19, was one of 26 people who applied to Tennis Australia for an exemption to participate in the World Open without being vaccinated. In his case, he said he has had the disease in the past six months. And he got permission. However, in addition to the valid visa, upon entering the country, he also had to show these medical exemption documents. According to border officers, he “did not provide sufficient evidence.”

Tullamarine Airport authorities contacted the Victorian government after realizing that the tennis player’s team had applied for a visa that did not allow medical exemption for not being vaccinated.. Nikola Selacnovic, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Serbia, asked the ambassador of the Balkan country in Canberra, the capital of Australia, to administer the immediate release of Djokovic and facilitate his entry into the country. However, the result was the opposite. Djokovic was ordered to leave the country, although his lawyers appealed the decision pending a final decision.

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The controversy over the player’s arrival, a few hours earlier, has led to questioning by the Australian government. The blame for the authorities follow each other. It is considered by many to have been given preferential treatment to the number one player in world tennis by facilitating exemption without vaccination. Tennis Australia issued a statement on Tuesday saying so Djokovic had received this medical exemption that would allow him to participate in the Australian Open, From 17 to 30 January. This was explained hours ago by the Serbian player, who did not reveal the reason for building his request. Reasons for medical exemption include allergic reactions or serious side effects after the first dose, as well as recent heart disease.

To speed up the process, Tennis Australia has set up its own department to review all incoming applications, which, yes, must be approved by the Victorian Department of Health. The system in no way discloses the identity, age or origin of the interested party. “Novak is not coming to compete in Australia because he is the biggest star in the world of tennis. He is coming because he has been able to prove, through our performances, that he qualifies for safe conduct, just like anyone else,” said Gala Bolford, Minister for Sport in the Victorian State Government, on Wednesday. Another wants to come to this country.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison addresses the media on January 5, 2021 in Canberra.Photo: EFE / EPA / LUKAS CAR | Video: Reuters

The controversy unleashed on the treatment offered to Djokovic, who in April 2020 declared his opposition to vaccines and still does not say whether he has been vaccinated, has reached Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Hours before the player arrived, Morrison was asked if he supported the decision to grant him a waiver. “My view is that anyone who wants to enter Australia should abide by our border requirements,” the prime minister said after a meeting of officials to study how to deal with record levels of coronavirus infection in the country. Morrison cautioned, “We look forward to the evidence you provide and if it is not enough, you will not be treated differently from everyone else and you will be on the next plane home. So, there should be no special rules for it. Absolutely nothing.”

Australian Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said in a statement issued earlier this morning: “While the Victorian (regional) government and Australian tennis may allow a non-immune player to compete in the Australian Open, it is the government that will enforce our requirements at the border.”

Also hours before Djokovic’s arrival, Australian Open director Craig Tilly explained that of the 3,500 professional tennis players who have traveled to Australia in recent months, 26 players or their support staff have requested a medical exemption from the vaccine. , but it was awarded to only a few. “If they don’t adhere to the guidelines, and there are many who haven’t, they will be rejected,” Tilley said.

The uproar over the announcement of Djokovic’s exemption has caused great inconvenience in Australia, especially in Melbourne, the city that has been piling up most days under strict isolation during the pandemic (262 days), and the rest of this country where draconian measures have been implemented. to stop the epidemic.

“All of Serbia is with you”

Aleksandar Vucic, President of Serbia. He assured that the country would fight to defend Djokovic. Vucic believes that the Serbian tennis player is being “harassed”. Shortly before Australia announced that the number one tennis player in the world had been denied a visa, Vucic explained: “I just finished a phone conversation with Novak. I told him that all of Serbia is with him and that our authorities are taking all measures to stop the harassment of the best tennis player in the world in the shortest time Possible. According to all the rules of international law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic for justice and truth.” The Belgrade player was held incommunicado in a room at Melbourne Airport for several hours. Soon he was able to talk on the phone with the president of his country.

Novak’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, while Australian customs officials questioned his son, described the situation as “captive”. He claimed, “This is a fight for the liberal world, it’s not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world. If they don’t let him go in half an hour, we’ll meet on the street. It’s a fight for everyone.”

Serbian athletes and celebrities have sent messages of support to Djokovic via social networks. “Everything is a temptation in this democratic world of justice and multiculturalism where there is only strength. I support my brother,” wrote the famous actor Andrea Milosevic. “You will win this match. We are all with you,” predicted singer Sasa Kovacevic.

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