Novak Djokovic denied entry into Australia after visa cancelled

World No 1 and defending Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic denied entry into Australia at Melbourne airport; The Serbian had flown to Australia with an “exemption permission” but the visa he had applied for did not allow for medical exemptions, Djokovic could launch an appeal

Last Updated: 05/01/22 10:11pm

Novak Djokovic’s entry into Australia on a vaccine exemption was ultimately denied

Novak Djokovic has been denied entry into Australia after his visa was cancelled by border force officials at Melbourne airport.

The world No 1 had announced on Tuesday that he was travelling to Australia on an “exemption permission”, but after landing in Melbourne on Wednesday evening he was held in isolation after reportedly attempting to enter the country on a visa that does not permit medical exemptions for being unvaccinated against Covid-19.

After being held for nine hours in the airport, during which he was placed in isolation in a police-guarded room, the Serbian’s visa was cancelled on Thursday morning in Australia.

An Australian Border Force statement read: “The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.

“Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia.

“The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone.​”

Novak Djokovic – Sequence of events

Djokovic announces he will be travelling to Australia with an ‘exemption permission’ on Tuesday, January 4.
While Djokovic is airborne, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the athlete will be on the “next plane home” if he cannot provide “acceptable proof” that his exemption is legitimate.
Acting Sports Minister Jaala Pulford highlights that the local government of Victoria, where the Australian Open is held, will not support Djokovic’s visa application.
The world No 1 arrives at Melbourne Airport around 11.30pm on Wednesday, January 5.
Around 3.15am local time in Australia, Djokovic’s father reports that his son is being held in isolation in Melbourne Airport.
At 5am local time, Goran Ivanisevic releases an image on social media of himself and Djokovic’s physiotherapist seemingly waiting for the world No 1. The post is captioned, ‘Not the most usual trip Down Under’.
Around 8.15am local time, Djokovic’s visa confirmed to have been denied.

Shortly after Djokovic’s visa was announced as being cancelled, the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison re-iterated that nobody was above the country’s border rules.

“Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to borders. No-one is above these rules,” he said in a tweet.

“Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant.”

Greg Hunt, Australia’s Minister for Health, made it clear that if Djokovic does wish to try and stay in the country, he would need to follow the appropriate processes.

“It’s a matter for him as to whether he wishes to appeal that,” Hunt said in a statement. “But, if a visa is cancelled then somebody will have to leave the country.”

More to follow…

File source

Show More

Related Articles

Back to top button