Visa annulled: tennis pro Djokovic wants to appeal

Novak Djokovic wants to appeal against the renewed cancellation of his visa for Australia. This was announced by his lawyer Nicholas Wood at a court hearing in Melbourne. The Djokovic side wants to submit the application later in the evening so as not to lose any time. “Every minute before the tournament starts on Monday is precious,” Wood said at the hearing before Justice Anthony Kelly. He was already dealing with the case and on Monday decided in favor of Djokovic due to a formal error by the authorities after the 34-year-old was initially refused entry to Melbourne.

The unvaccinated Djokovic’s visa was invalidated a second time in a personal decision by Immigration Minister Alex Hawke on Friday. This was well justified and “in the public interest,” said the minister on Friday. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed the decision. “This pandemic has been incredibly difficult for every Australian but we have stuck together and saved lives and livelihoods,” Morrison said in a statement, stressing, “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic and they rightly expect the outcome to be… this victim is protected.”

Unvaccinated against the coronavirus, Djokovic is a controversial figure in the country that has imposed tough rules since the pandemic began. The authorities had already refused Djokovic entry upon arrival last week and classified the documents presented for his TUE as insufficient.

However, because he was not given enough time to react, Judge Kelly overturned the entry ban during a court hearing on Monday. Djokovic has been training normally since then and preparing for the Australian Open. He is the defending champion at the first Grand Slam of the year, and on Thursday his Serbian compatriot Miomir Kecmanovic was drawn as an opponent for the first round.

The case has also become a severe stress test for Australia’s politicians

Djokovic was refused entry to Australia at Melbourne airport last week because he was not vaccinated against the corona virus and the authorities did not have sufficient documentation of his medical exemption. However, because the border officials had not given him the agreed time to clarify the matter, the court overturned the decision.

The Australian government had announced that it was considering further steps to revoke Djokovic’s visa. The case also became a severe stress test for the country’s politics, after Australia spent many months in tough lockdowns and many citizens of the country were not allowed to enter their home country for a long time because of the strict rules.

On Wednesday, Djokovic denied intentional misrepresentation and endangering other people, but acknowledged mistakes in dealing with his positive test result. He primarily defended himself against two allegations via Instagram: he neither intentionally gave false information about his travel behavior in the 14 days before the flight to the host country of the Australian Open, nor did he have an event with him knowing his positive corona test in December Children visited and moved there without a mask.

Djokovic described the “misinformation” that needed to be corrected as “hurting and upsetting to my family”. However, he admitted that during an interview with the French sports newspaper L’Equipe already knew about his positive test result on December 18th and still did not cancel the appointment. “Although I went home after the interview and went into isolation for the prescribed period, on reflection that was a miscalculation and I recognize that I should have postponed that commitment,” he wrote.

Djokovic described the fact that his entry form incorrectly stated that he had not traveled in the 14 days before his flight to Australia as a “human error” by his agent, “which was certainly not intentional”.

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