Djokovic leaves Australia for Dubai after losing the legal battle against the Immigration Ministry | sports

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic lost this Sunday his last judicial attempt to remain in Australia and be able to defend his title in the first major tournament of the season after a court authorized the cancellation of his visa and his deportation for not being vaccinated. The number one in the world is currently flying to Dubai after making his departure from the Australian country effective before arriving in Serbia.

Three judges of the Australian Federal Court today unanimously endorsed the legality of the Australian Government’s decision to revoke the tennis player’s visa and rejected the appeal filed by Djokovic’s defense, after a virtual hearing that was broadcast live on YouTube.

The Balkan athlete, who is not vaccinated against covid-19 and therefore violates the entry laws implemented by the southern country against the pandemic, plans to leave Australia at 10:30 p.m. local time (11:30 GMT) on an airline flight Emirates bound for Dubai, according to local media.

Djokovic – who wanted to win his 10th Australian Open title and become the world’s most decorated tennis player with 21 Grand Slams – is also at risk of being banned from the country for three years.

Upon learning of the ruling, the world number one expressed, through a statement, to be “deeply disappointed” by the cancellation of his visa and asked for time to “rest and recover” before making further comments, although he said he respects ” the decision of the Australian court.

The Serb was scheduled to make his debut this Monday at the Rod Laver Arena center court, a stage that saw him crown the “major aussie” up to nine times, against his compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic, but after the court decision the organization of the event has had to replace to the current number one in the ATP.

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The sacrifice of the Australians

Djokovic’s arrival in Melbourne last week, with a medical exemption for not being vaccinated, generated a wave of indignation and put vaccination against covid-19 in the oceanic country at the center of the debate, just at the moment when it was breaking out a crisis due to an astronomical increase in infections.

The Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, stressed this Sunday when celebrating the judicial decision that the cancellation of the visa “was adopted for reasons of health, security and maintenance of order, on the basis that it was in the public interest.”

Morrison, who faces an election this year, also recognized the “sacrifice of Australians” during the pandemic and echoed public opinion in the country, where 70 percent opposed Djokovic staying in the country, according the surveys.

With 92 percent of the target population vaccinated and the campaign to inoculate the booster dose, Australians are trying to leave behind the harsh confinements and border closures that were applied for some 19 months to minimize the impact of covid-19 on the population. health of its 25 million inhabitants and the country’s economy.

anti-vax icon

Precisely, the argument of the government lawyer during today’s hearing was that Djokovic, whom he described as an “anti-vaccine icon”, has “a recent history” of having ignored the measures imposed by covid-19.

“Even when he was infected he went to an interview and photo shoot that included taking off his mask,” said Stephen Lloyd, referring to Djokovic’s admission that he went to an interview with French outlet L’ + Char(39) + ‘Equipe in Belgrade on December 18 knowing that he had covid-19.

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The lawyer insisted that Djokovic could “encourage people to emulate him” in the violation of anti-virus measures.

“His connections to the cause, whether he likes it or not, are still present and his presence in Australia poses an overwhelming risk,” the government representative said.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said today after the court ruling that Djokovic had been mistreated in a “witch hunt” that resembled an “Orwellian” style show.

Djokovic’s Australian journey, turned into a media and political circus, began on January 5 when he traveled to Melbourne with a medical exemption for not being vaccinated, having recently been infected with covid-19.

Upon arrival, the Immigration authorities canceled his visa and detained him until his release last Monday by court order, considering that he was not treated “fairly”, although yesterday he was arrested again as a result of a new government attempt to deport him.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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