Tennis Star Djokovic Ordered To Leave Australia

Sunday, January 16, 2022 | Tag Cloud Tags: , , , , , ,

By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News

MELBOURNE (Worthy News) – Australia’s Federal Court has ruled against Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic’s appeal of a deportation order in a setback for those demanding fewer coronavirus restrictions.

Djokovic, who opposed receiving a COVID-19 jab, can not participate in the Australian Open.

A panel of three Australian federal justices upheld the immigration minister’s decision to cancel the unvaccinated athlete’s visa. They said his presence in the country might incite anti-vaccine sentiment and “civil unrest.”

Djokovic’s legal team had argued in court on Sunday that the immigration minister, Alex Hawke, had erred by choosing to cancel Djokovic’s visa because he could encourage anti-vaccination sentiment in Australia.

Hawke had not considered whether deporting Djokovic could also stoke such sentiment, Djokovic’s lawyers stressed.

The Court disagreed. However, its ruling came amid mounting protests against government-imposed coronavirus vaccine mandates and lockdowns.

This month anti-vaccination protesters marched in Sydney against COVID-19 jabs for children aged five and over.

The timing of the decision – roughly 24 hours before Djokovic was due to take to the tennis court – makes another appeal almost impossible.

Djokovic, 34, was expected to remain in detention in Melbourne until he was deported.
A deportation order usually also includes a three-year ban on returning to Australia.

In an emailed statement. Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed” but that he respected the ruling. He said he would “cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.”

Djokovic’s visa was initially canceled on January 6 at Melbourne’s airport hours after he arrived to compete in the first Grand Slam of 2022.

A border official canceled his visa after deciding Djokovic didn’t qualify for a medical exemption from Australia’s rules for unvaccinated visitors.

It came as a significant setback for fans in his native Serbia, where his family had accused Australia of “torturing” the world’s number one player.

Activists had hoped his presence in the immigration detention center would also raise interest in the plight of refugees staying there, some already for many years.

However, Djokovic’s presence did little to ease their situation, refugee supporters noticed.

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