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Australia’s Immigration Minister Cancels Visa for Novak Djokovic



Australia,Novak Djokovic

On Friday, Australia’s Immigration Minister cancelled Tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa for the second time in a new effort to deport the unvaccinated athlete.

The tennis world number one is also being held in detention following the outcome of his new appeal, which results in a setback to his goal of winning the 21st Grand Slam.

With only a few hours left until the Australian Open begins Monday, the nine-time title holder learned in an emergency hearing on Friday evening that he will be in immigration detention from Saturday morning — not on the Melbourne Park tennis courts.

Australia’s Federal Court will hear the megastar’s deportation case at 10:15 am Saturday (6.15 am Thailand time).

Barrister Stephen Lloyd announced during an emergency late-night session of the federal circuit court that the government has agreed not to deport the Serbian tennis player until the hearing is over.

Djokovic is expected to present himself to government offices at 8 am Saturday to be placed in detention.

A barrister said he would be allowed to watch online court hearings at his solicitors’ offices under the supervision of Australian Border Force officers.

Novak Djokovic opposes the Covid-19 vaccine

If Djokovic believes he will not be able to compete in the Australian Open, it remains unclear whether he will stay and fight the case.

After having been defeated once in court, the country’s conservative government invoked extraordinary executive powers to revoke the Serbian’s visa on public interest grounds.

Top seed Novak Djokovic is adamantly opposed to the Covid-19 vaccine and was practising at Melbourne Park just hours before Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s bombshell decision.

In a statement, Hawke said the government was “firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders from the Covid-19 pandemic.”

His decision was based on “health and good order grounds” and he said it was “in the public interest”.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison supported the decision: “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they should be able to protect the outcome of their sacrifices.”

The cancellation of the visa effectively prevents the world’s top tennis player from obtaining a new visa in Australia for the next three years, except in exceptional circumstances.

Nick Wood, Novak Djokovic’s lawyer, immediately asked for an injunction to prevent his client’s removal. His appeal for Djokovic to remain out of immigration detention during the proceedings was unsuccessful.

Wood said the government’s decision was “irrational”, arguing that it was very concerned about the passing of time.

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