Novak Djokovic will be detained in Australia again from tomorrow morning after his lawyers appealed the decision of the country’s immigration minister to cancel his visa for the second time.
The tennis star his visa was first revoked upon his arrival in Melbourne last week when his COVID the immunization exemption was questioned.
But he won a lawsuit against the cancellation which allowed him to stay in the country.
At the time, the Australian government said it would continue to consider whether he could stay, which was a decision entirely at the discretion of Immigration Minister Alex Hawke.
He announced on Friday that the Serbian’s visa had been canceled again, this time for public health reasons.
At a court hearing, Djokovic’s lawyers sought an injunction to block his deportation from the country, saying the reasons for Mr Hawke’s decision were “patently irrational”.
Djokovic will be free on Friday evening but will be arrested at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning after being questioned at the Interior Ministry.
The 34-year-old will then be able to spend time with his lawyers to prepare his case but will be returned to detention on Saturday evening.
His legal team is pushing for a hearing to take place on Sunday, in hopes that a decision will be made before the Australian Open.
Novak Djokovic tries to explain “mistake” on Australia entry visa form
Mr Hawke said he delivered his judgment after “carefully” reviewing information from the Home Office, the Australian Border Force and Djokovic.
“Today, I exercised my power under section 133C (3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr. Novak Djokovic for reasons of health and good order, on the grounds that ‘it was in the public interest to do so,’ he said in a statement.
“The Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, especially with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic,” he added, referring to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Djokovic vs Australia: what both sides have said so far
Under the section of the Migration Act used by the Minister, Djokovic will not be able to obtain a visa to come to Australia for three years, except in compelling circumstances that affect the interests of the country.
Commenting on the decision, Mr Morrison said Australians had made “many sacrifices” during the pandemic.
“They rightly expect that the outcome of these sacrifices will be protected,” he added. “The pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian, but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods.
“Our strong border protection policies have kept Australians safe, before COVID and now during the pandemic. “
What are the travel rules for Australia?
“One of the most extraordinary shows”
Polls have reportedly suggested that the majority of the Australian public expected the government to cancel their visa.
It only took the Australian government 96 hours after the court case that garnered so much attention earlier this week to make its decision.
Now we know that Novak Djokovic has admitted to misleading Australian authorities when he filled out documents regarding his arrival for the Australian Open, and we know he most likely broke Serbian COVID rules.
Indeed, he tested positive on December 16 and did not necessarily isolate himself.
It’s such a mess on the eve of the Australian Open. They did the draw yesterday and Djokovic was included but we understand from Melbourne the decision is to kick him out and cancel his visa.
It is one of the most extraordinary spectacles in sport, apart from the tennis courts. It has been so bitter on both sides, and it has polarized the anti-vaccination debate.
It’s really got a lot bigger than that now. Polls suggested the majority of the Australian public wanted him deported, and the Immigration Minister finally acted.
And the Australian Open?
Djokovic’s second visa cancellation comes after he was shot against fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic at Australian Open, which is due to start on Monday.
The world number one in men’s tennis could still sue, but otherwise his hopes of winning a 10th Melbourne Park title and a 21st Grand Slam crown will come to an end.
To have a chance to compete, his attorneys would have to appear before a judge of the Federal Circuit and Family Court or a superior judge of the Federal Court for two urgent orders.
An order would be an injunction to prevent his deportation, like the one he obtained last week.
The second would order Mr. Hawke to grant Djokovic a visa to play.
If he is forced to leave the tournament before Monday’s order of play is announced, the seeds will be shuffled, with fifth seed Andrey Rublev taking the place of the tennis star.
“Not great for the Australian Open – not great for Novak”
British tennis player Andy Murray described the fallout as “not a good situation”.
He added that it was “not great for tennis, not great for the Australian Open, not great for Novak and obviously a lot of people have criticized the government here too so it hasn’t been good.
“I’m not going to sit here and start kicking Novak while he’s down, I said the other day, it’s not a good situation for anyone”, a- he declared.