The Australian immigration minister has cancelled Novak Djokovic’s visa and failing a successful appeal, the 9-time Australian Open champion will be kicked out of the country, meaning he will not play in the tournament next week.
According to The BBC:
The decision by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke means Djokovic now faces being deported.
However, the 34-year-old Serbian can still launch another legal challenge to remain in the country.
The men’s tennis number one was scheduled to play in the Australian Open, which begins on Monday.
Djokovic’s visa was first revoked shortly after his arrival in Melbourne on 6 January, after Australian border Force officials said he had “failed to provide appropriate evidence” to receive a vaccine exemption.
There was also enormous backlash from the Australian public, who have lived under some of the world’s longest and strictest lockdowns during the pandemic.
He was detained, spent hours at immigration control at the airport and then spent days at an immigration hotel. Days later his visa was reinstated by a judge, who ordered his release, ruling that border officials ignored correct procedure when he arrived.
But on Friday evening in Melbourne, Mr Hawke cancelled Djokovic’s visa under separate powers in Australia’s Migration Act.
Wouldn’t it be fantastic if the other players in the draw refused to play unless the decision to deport Djokovic is overturned? Don’t hold your breath though.