Star tennis player Novak Djokovic has lost his visa appeal in Australia on Sunday 16th January 2022. The judges have rejected his appeal after his visa was cancelled by the government as the player is yet unvaccinated against COVID-19. The government has cited the reasons of public health for cancelling his visa. It was the second time this month that his visa was cancelled. As a result, Novak Djokovic will be deported from Australia soon. Recently, Novak Djokovic’s visa was cancelled by the Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke.
34-year old Novak Djokovic is the defending champion of the upcoming Australian Open Tennis tournament. He had arrived in Australia with the target of winning a record 21st grand slam title of his tennis career. But with this decision by the judges, he will have to wait for the next grand slam competition. He was scheduled to play his first match on Monday. Instead, he will now be deported.
A bench of three judges heard his case on Sunday. Novak Djokovic’s defense unsuccessfully argued saying that the grounds cited by the government of Australia to cancel his visa are invalid and illogical. The chief justice of Australia’s Federal Court, James Allsop has said in the verdict that “The orders of the court are that the amended application be dismissed with costs.”
Novak Djokovic said he was extremely disappointed with the decision but accepted the same. He added that he will co-operate with the relevant authorities in relation to his departure from the country.
Novak Djokovic has been currently kept in an immigration detention centre in Melbourne. The Serbian tennis star is yet unvaccinated. However, his lawyer Nick Wood had argued that his client had not courted anti-vaxxer support and was not associated with the movement. In response to this, government lawyer Stephen Lloyd put some facts in front of the court in regards to Djokovic’s past behavior which reflects his antivaccine tendency. He said, “The fact Djokovic is not vaccinated two years into the pandemic and has repeatedly ignored safety measures — including failing to isolate while Covid-19 positive — is evidence enough of his anti-vaccine views.”
Lloyd further added that “He has now become an icon for the anti-vaccination groups. Rightly or wrongly he is perceived to endorse an anti-vaccination view and his presence here is seen to contribute to that.” Along with the immediate deportation, Djokovic will also have to face a three-year ban from Australia.