When tennis star Novak Djokovic (Novak Djokovic) arrived in Melbourne to participate in the Australian Open, his entry visa was blocked due to a vaccine exemption issue and was eventually revoked.
The world‘s number one player in men’s singles stayed at Melbourne Airport for several hours, and then the border department announced that he did not meet the immigration regulations and would be deported.
According to reports, he has now been sent to a government detention hotel to wait for a departing flight.
Earlier, Djokovic was accused of being exempt from the new crown vaccine, allowing him to enter the Australian Open without being vaccinated, which triggered a fierce response.
Djokovic never mentioned his vaccination status, but last year he stated that he was “opposed to vaccination.”
The Australian Tennis Association previously confirmed that the player received a medical exemption “after a rigorous verification process involving two independent teams.” However, when Djokovic arrived in Melbourne from Dubai on Wednesday (January 5), there was a problem. Start to appear.
A statement from the Australian Border Force stated that Djokovic “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet Australia’s entry requirements and his visa has been cancelled.”
The statement further stated: “Non-citizens of their nationality who did not hold a valid visa at the time of entry or those whose visas have been cancelled will be detained and sent out of Australia.”
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison denied that Djokovic was targeted individually and said that no one can override the laws of this country. At a press conference on Thursday, Morrison said that he had been informed that the player did not have a medical exemption permit when he entered the country, and said that the evidence provided by the opponent was “considered insufficient.”
Local media reported that Djokovic could seek an appeal, or apply for a new visa, and then re-enter to participate in the competition.
Reuters reported that he was then taken away from the airport and taken to a hotel dedicated to immigration detention in the Carlton district of Melbourne. According to local media, the facility used to be the site of an outbreak of Covid-19, and there have been fires recently.
The Australian Minister of Health, Greg Hunt, earlier described Djokovic’s handling of Djokovic as “rigorous” but “fair”, and stated that “they are treated equally under the administration of this Australian government.”
However, the treatment of the Serbian tennis star caused anger in his hometown. His father, Srdjan Djokovic, stated that his son was kept in a room under police custody at the airport.
He said in a statement released to the media: “This is not only a fight for Novak, but also a fight for the whole world.”
Serbian President Aleksander Vucic stated that the star was a victim of “harassment” and said that “the whole of Serbia” supported him.
Australia has seen tens of thousands of new coronavirus cases for the first time after some of the strictest restrictions in the world. More than 90% of the population over 16 years old in Australia has been fully vaccinated, but under current measures, some people still cannot travel across states or leave the country.
The Australian Open will kick off in Melbourne on January 17. Djokovic has won this event nine times.
Analysis: The problem is still significant
——BBC Australia correspondent Shaimaa Khalil (Shaimaa Khalil)
“The rules are the rules,” the Australian Prime Minister said about Djokovic’s deportation.
Scott Morrison’s rhetoric has been tough again, but so far, he has not explained or answered the most prominent core question in this incident.
What is the problem with Djokovic’s visa? What is the medical basis for his exemption?
Also, if there is a problem with his visa application, why can he be allowed to board the plane and participate in the Australian Open? It seems that these problems are big enough to cause the star to be expelled.
Remember, although his vaccine exemption has aroused a lot of outrage among Australians-these people have been urged to get the vaccine for many months-but Djokovic is not the only one to receive this exemption. Players.
The Australian Tennis Association said that of the 26 athletes who submitted applications, only a few were exempted. Who are they? Why is their situation different from Djokovic?
There seem to be gaps in the decisions of the Australian federal government and state governments.
The Victorian government approved Djokovic to participate in this dominant event, and this time he is here to defend his title.
On Wednesday, Morrison said that the decision was made by the State of Victoria. But less than a day later, he changed his tone and said that no one can be above the law.
This decision aroused anger overseas, but the Prime Minister hopes that this decision will satisfy Australia.
Because of the government’s response to the Omicron variant virus, Morrison has been under tremendous political pressure. Infection cases have soared and testing clinics are in chaos. And under all this, there are still elections that will come in a few months.