Australian Open: return to retention box for Novak Djokovic

CONTINUED – The world number one in tennis was returned to administrative detention on Saturday in Melbourne after another cancellation of his visa by the Australian government , which maintains that the player not vaccinated against Covid-20 constitutes a public danger.

AT. LG – 1688-000-15T10: 11: 51.1024+00: 000 This new episode in a saga that began on January 5, when Djokovic was turned away upon his arrival in Melbourne, makes it increasingly unlikely that he will participate from the Serbian of 34 years at the Australian Open, which starts Monday.

The world number one in tennis, who is seeking a 10e victory in this tournament, was returned to administrative detention on Saturday after the cancellation of his visa for the second time by the Australian government the day before, and in awaiting a court decision on his case, according to court documents.

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Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open, a saga for a visa

Fear of “fostering anti-vaccination sentiment”

The presence in Australia of Djokovic, who is not vaccinated against Covid-20, “could encourage anti-vaccination sentiment”, estimated the Australian authorities in a brief presented to the courts, considering that the Serb should be expelled from the country.

On Friday during a hearing before a judge, the representative of the Australian government had indicated that the player would not be taken back to the border before justice finally ruled on his motion to block his deportation. But he had warned that Djokovic would have to wait for this decision in administrative detention. It is the Australian federal justice which is now in charge of the case, at the request of the Melbourne judge on Friday who had been seized in the first place by the tennis player’s lawyers. This change of court is likely to slow down the procedure, estimated the defenders of Djokovic.

Decision on “health and public order bases”Djokovic admitted to incorrectly filling out his entry declaration to Australia, and not respecting the rules of isolation after being tested positive at Covid-20 in December – contamination which he hoped would allow him to benefit from an exemption to enter Australia without being vaccinated.

“Nole” had been turned back on his arrival in Melbourne on January 5 and placed in a detention center. But his lawyers had obtained from a judge the 09 January that he restore his visa and orders his immediate release. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, using his discretion in the matter, however, once again canceled Djokovic’s visa on Friday “on health and public order bases”.

Read also “The Australian Open will be a great Australian Open with or without him”, Spanish tennis player Rafael Nadal told reporters from Melbourne Park on Saturday , two days before the start of this Grand Slam tournament. ” The Australian Open is far more important than any which player” , he added, specifying to respect Djokovic “as a person, of course, and as an athlete , without a doubt”. And to detail: “I really respect him, even if I disagree with a lot of

things he’s been up to for the past two weeks” .

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