Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic was placed under administrative detention today, Saturday, after Australia canceled his entry visa to its territory for the second time due to his failure to receive the anti-Covid-19 vaccine, pending a judicial decision in this case.
The Australian authorities said that the presence of Djokovic, who has not been vaccinated against Covid-19, on its soil “could encourage anti-vaccination sentiment”, arguing that he should be expelled from the country.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said in a statement that he had taken the decision to cancel the entry visa “for reasons of health and order,” noting that Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s government was “strongly determined to protect Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
The decision means that Djokovic is prevented from obtaining an entry visa to Australia for a period of 3 years, except in exceptional circumstances.
The famous Australian lawyer Christopher Livingstone considered that the Serbian star camp can apply to the Federal Court, saying, “Djokovic has a competent team around him. He can stay and fight or leave.”
Hours after the decision, the judge, who had previously ruled not to extradite Djokovic from Australia, called for an emergency hearing.
An Australian court has set a hearing for Sunday at 9:30 am local time (22:30 GMT Saturday).
The government has said it will not deport Djokovic until his appeal is considered, while the world number one wants to defend his title in the Australian Championship, which begins on Monday.
Djokovic, ranked the first Yemeni in the world, to win the Australian Championship for the tenth time in his career and set the record for the number of titles in Grand Slams (Grand Slam) to reach the 21st title in his career, but his quest is threatened.
Djokovic arrived on the fifth of January in Australia thanks to a special exemption, as he contracted Covid-19 on the 16th of last month, but the authorities refused to allow him to enter, considering that the reasons for exempting the unvaccinated player do not meet the strict conditions imposed on entering its territory within the framework of Fighting the epidemic, his visa is refused and he is transferred to the Melbourne Passenger Detention Center.
The Serbian star appealed the decision, and succeeded in his quest after a federal judge ordered his immediate release. Indeed, this happened and he trained on the main stadium of the Australian Championship normally in recent days, but his participation was suspended pending the decision of the Minister of Immigration that was taken today.