The star is stuck at the airport: Australia refuses to enter Djokovic

The star is stuck at the airport
Australia denies Djokovic entering

The allegedly invulnerable tennis star Novak Djokovic travels to the Australian Open – and fails on the first hurdle. He is said to have a visa with exemption, but was refused entry at Melbourne Airport. Now world number one is stuck there.

It appears that Novak Djokovic is stuck at Melbourne Airport, Australia in the middle of the night (local time). This was reported by many media outlets in the country. The number one tennis player is said to have tried to enter on a visa that does not allow medical exceptions for unvaccinated people. Even the Victoria state government rejected a belated request from tennis pros hours before he arrived in Melbourne to support the world number one visa. The Serb is a vaccination skeptic and does not provide any information about his vaccination status.

Only vaccinated tennis players or those who have obtained a visa with medical exemption are allowed to enter the Australian Open in Melbourne. Djokovic wrote on Instagram on Tuesday that he was about to travel to Australia with such an exemption. Roughly two weeks before the first Grand Slam of the tennis season kicks off, he ended a month-long speculation about his participation.

According to Australian media, the world number one landed in Melbourne at 11:30 p.m. local time, but the apparently invalid exceptional visa is raising doubts over whether Djokovic can enter Australia. By early evening Australian time, the Australian Border Patrol Agency reportedly contacted the state government after learning of a problem with the visa provided by Djokovic’s team. A source familiar with the matter told The Age and The Herald that the 20-time Grand Slam winner was not immune and was trying to enter the country on a visa that does not allow medical exceptions.

I will not support Novak Djokovic

The Border Protection Agency is said to have asked the Victorian government for support to facilitate the tennis player’s entry into the country. State officials reportedly asked the federal agency to submit their request in writing and ultimately declined the request for assistance. This decision reflects the anger of many politicians and citizens of the country that Djokovic caused to announce his accession. As of this writing, it is not clear if Djokovic will be asked to go home or if he will be granted entry.

Victoria State Sports Minister Gala Polford wrote in two tweets: “The government has asked us to support Novak Djokovic’s visa application. We will support Novak Djokovic with his individual visa application to compete in the Australian Open, not support.” Two points have always been clearly made in Victoria: “Visa approvals are always a matter of government. Medical exceptions are a matter of doctors.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison had previously requested sufficient evidence to relieve Djokovic. “He has to do that because if he is not vaccinated, he has to provide acceptable evidence that he cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons in order to reach the same travel rules as fully vaccinated travelers,” Morrison said. Otherwise, Morrison warned, the 34-year-old Serbian star would “take his first plane home”. “Anyone wishing to enter Australia must adhere to our strict border controls,” Home Secretary Karen Andrews said in a statement. No one who competes in the Australian Open will get ‘special treatment’.

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