World number one tennis star Djokovic loses Australian visa appeal
Men's world number one tennis star Novak Djokovic was handed a fresh blow in the ongoing saga regarding his visa ahead of the 2022 Australian Open. On Sunday, Djokovic lost his last-ditch court bid to stay in Australia. He is now set to be deported after the federal judges rejected his appeal following his visa getting canceled by the Australian government.
As per a report in BBC, Djokovic's visa got canceled on public health grounds. The Australian government argued that the veteran tennis ace, who is not vaccinated against the novel coronavirus, posed a threat to public health. During the court hearing on Sunday before a three-judge panel, Djokovic's defence had argued that the grounds given by the Australian government were "invalid and illogical".
- The controversy regarding Djokovic made headlines ahead of the Australian Open.
- Djokovic had arrived in Australia with a COVID-19 vaccine exemption.
- However, the border authorities canceled his visa upon arrival.
- The world number one was sent to immigration detention before his lawyers filed an appeal.
- Although his team won the case, the government re-canceled his visa.
- And now, the the judges rejected Djokovic's appeal.
On January 14, Australia's Immigration Minister Alex Hawke had canceled Djokovic's visa. This was despite Djokovic's legal team winning the case after the border authorities in Australia had canceled his visa upon arrival. The Immigration Minister held the power to re-cancel his visa.
"This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on January 10, 2022, quashing a prior cancelation decision on procedural fairness grounds," said Hawke. "I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic. The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia's borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. (sic)"
After the Australian government re-canceled his visa, Djokovic was facing deportation again. The act followed by the Immigration Minister allowed him to deport anyone who is looked upon as a potential risk to "the health, safety, or good order of the Australian community".
Djokovic's visa to enter Australia was canceled after he failed to meet the requirements for an exemption to COVID-19 vaccination rules. Djokovic had received the medical exemption from the Victoria state government, which was supposed to guard him against the vaccination guidelines in place for the Australian Open. The border officials said he had "failed to provide appropriate evidence".
After seeing his visa get canceled, Djokovic had a sigh of relief as the Federal Circuit and Family Court quashed the decision. This saw Djokovic be free to leave immigration detention. Judge Anthony Kelly confirmed Djokovic had won the court case as he read out a minute agreed to by both legal teams. He also ordered the government to pay for Djokovic's legal costs.
After testing positive for COVID-19, Djokovic did not undergo self-isolation at first. He rather decided to fulfill a 'long-standing commitment' of an interview and photoshoot with a French Daily. However, the Serb has accepted that he should have rescheduled those commitments, calling it an error in judgment. He also claimed that he maintained the social distancing and wore a mask throughout the interview.
Djokovic has won the AO most times (9) in men's singles. He has three more titles than Roy Emerson and Roger Federer (6 each). The Serbian is 82-8 at this Slam. He owns a win percentage of 91. He has a perfect record in the finals of the Australian Open (9-0). Djokovic, who won in 2021, was eyeing his 21st Grand Slam title.