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Australia cancels Novak Djokovic visa

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The information was confirmed by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules, he wrote on Twitter. Our tough border rules have been key to allowing Australia to have one of the best ratios on the planet in terms of deaths from COVID-19, and we must continue to be vigilant.

These comments joined those of an Australian customs spokesperson. Foreign nationals who do not have a valid visa or whose visa has been canceled will be detained and deported from Australia.

Djokovic, whose vaccination status is unknown, had obtained a medical exemption to be able to travel to Melbourne to play the first grand slam tournament of the year.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic on Wednesday accused Australia of bad treatment towards the Serbian star. On social media, he showed his support for Djokovic, adding that the authorities were taking all necessary measures to ensure that the mistreatment of the world’s best tennis player ceased as soon as possible.

The world’s No. 1 tennis player was stranded at Melbourne airport on Wednesday due to a visa problem.

According to the Australian press, the nine-time winner of the Australian Open, who flew to Melbourne on Tuesday after announcing that he had obtained this exemption, did not fill out the correct form for the type of visa. he asked.

The Federal Customs Service contacted the government of the state of Victoria, of which Melbourne is the capital, when it was found that Djokovic’s team had requested the wrong type of visa, report The Age.

Djokovic was seeking to enter the country on a work visa which required the agreement of the Victorian government, according to the daily The Australian.

He raises his arms during a game, looking desperate.

Novak Djokovic had obtained a medical exemption to participate in the Australian Open.

Photo: Getty Images / Sarah Stier

Jaala Pulford, Minister of the State of Victoria, posted on Twitter Wednesday afternoon that her state had refused to support the request.

Tuesday, the Serbian had announced, all smiles, his departure for Melbourne to compete in the Australian Open thanks to the obtaining of a waiver, which was quickly confirmed by the Australian Federation (TA). The granting of this medical exemption, the reasons for which have not been explained, provoked strong criticism in Australia as well as within the media, the political world and the sporting community.

Scott Morrison had announced on Wednesday that he would demand from Novak Djokovic that the proof he received to participate in the Australian Open be justified, failing which the Serbian would be fired home by the first plane.

We are waiting for his presentation and for him to provide us with evidence to justify this waiver, Morrison said at a press conference. The 34-year-old has never said whether or not he is vaccinated against COVID-19.

If this evidence is insufficient, then he will not be treated any differently from anyone else, and he will return home on the first plane. There will be no special rule for Novak Djokovic. Not the least, insisted the Prime Minister.

Tournament director Craig Tiley also urged Novak Djokovic to disclose the reason for his medical waiver.

It would certainly be helpful if Novak explained the conditions under which he applied for and obtained an exemption. I encourage him to talk to the community about this. We have been through a very difficult time over the past couple of years and I would appreciate some responses to that.

A quote from Craig Tiley, President of the Australian Federation and Director of the Australian Open

The Australian tennis boss, however, claimed that Djokovic had not taken advantage of any preferential treatment to obtain the waiver in a process overseen by Australian authorities and those in the state of Victoria.

A total of 26 players or members of their management of the 3000 or so expected in Australia have requested a exemption, and only a few of them have been satisfied, he said.

Anyone who met the conditions was allowed to enter. There was no special favor. There was no special treatment given to Novak, insisted Mr. Tiley.

In search of a record

Already winner of 20 grand slam tournaments, like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic is aiming for a record 21st title in Melbourne. The Australian Open, which will start on January 17, represent his favorite tournament: it is in Melbourne that the Serbian won his first grand slam, in 2008, and no one has won there as much as him with his nine victories. .

For months, the one we nicknamed Nole cast doubt on his participation in the first grand slam of the year, due to the obligation for players to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter Australia and be able to compete in the tournament.

He finally announced on Tuesday that he had obtained a medical exemption allowing him to make the trip. The Australian federation has taken refuge behind medical confidentiality so as not to reveal the reasons justifying this exemption.

Novak Djokovic never revealed his vaccination status and spoke in April 2020 against compulsory vaccination, then considered to allow the resumption of tournaments despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

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