World’s number one tennis player Novak Djokovic has been denied entry to Australia on Thursday and had his visa canceled after being granted a medical exemption from the country’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements.
Health Minister Greg Hunt issued a statement saying Djokovic “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements for Australia and visa has been subsequently canceled.”
According to a local report, Djokovic’s team had allegedly applied to a wrong visa. They had not applied for a visa that permits medical exemptions for being unvaccinated.
The top-ranked Djokovic flew in after receiving a medical exemption from the strict coronavirus vaccination requirements in place for the Australian Open, where he is a nine-time winner.
Australian media reported that Djokovic’s team had applied for the wrong type of visa for a person with a medical exemption.
Djokovic’s lawyers are expected to appeal the decision, which came after the 20-time major winner had to spend more than eight hours at the at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport waiting to find out if he would be allowed into the country.
Djokovic’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, told the B92 internet portal that his son was held “in a room which no one can enter” at the airport, guarded by two policemen.
Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open has become a hot political topic, with many Australians furious that he was granted an exemption to enter the country. Meanwhile, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Instagramthat he spoke to Djokovic while he was being held at the airport — prior to the ruling that his visa had been revoked — and added that Serbian authorities were taking measures “so the harassment of the best tennis player in the world be stopped in the shortest possible time.
“In accordance with all norms of international public law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, for justice and truth. By the way, Novak is strong, as we all know him.”
Djokovic is a staunch critic of the COVID-19 vaccine mandates and calls for freedom across the world. On Tuesday, Djokovic went on Twitter and wishes “respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet.”
Happy New Year! Wishing you all health, love & joy in every moment & may you feel love & respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet.
I’ve spent fantastic quality time with loved ones over break & today I’m heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let’s go 2022! pic.twitter.com/e688iSO2d4
— Novak Djokovic (@DjokerNole) January 4, 2022
Last week, another French tennis star Benoit Paire went off after testing positive for Covid for the ‘250th time.’
Paire’s most recent positive Covid test threatens to derail his Australian Open since he is now being forced to quarantine in an unknown location.
“Honestly I can’t deal with this Covid sh*t anymore. How am I doing? Because of Covid I got a runny nose, but because of all these quarantines spent in a hotel room halfway across the world, I don’t feel good mentally,” he said. “Last year was tough, and this year starts exactly the same way!!” Read more here: