Open in disarray
Australia cancels Djokovic’s visa for second time
Australia has cancelled Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time, throwing next week’s Open tennis tournament into disarray.
The country’s immigration minister announced this morning that the world tennis No. 1, who is unvaccinated for COVID-19, may pose a risk to the community.
Djokovic’s lawyers responded by making immediate moves to appeal. A preliminary directions hearing has been listed in the Federal Court, with the proceedings to be streamed on the court’s YouTube channel.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used discretionary powers to again cancel Djokovic’s visa, after a court quashed an earlier revocation and released him from immigration detention on Monday.
Mr Hawke said in a statement: “Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so.”
The Serbian star– was facing mounting criticism for his actions, including from other tennis players set to take part in the Australian Open which begins on Monday.
Greek world number four Stefanos Tsitsipas said Djokovic was “playing by his own rules” and making vaccinated players ‘look like fools’.
Speaking to a news channel, Tsitsipas said: “No-one really thought they could come to Australia unvaccinated and not having to follow the protocols … it takes a lot of daring to do and putting the grand slam at risk, which I don’t think many players would do.”
Public opposition to Djokovic has been high in one of the cities most affected by lockdowns and has only intensified after he admitted he made “errors of judgement” in the lead up to arriving in Australia.
A poll conducted by the News Corp media group found that 83% favoured the government trying to deport the tennis star.
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