World number one tennis player Novak Djokovic was denied entry to Australia on Thursday after he initially received a medical exemption from the country’s COVID-19 vaccination requirement to play at the Australian Open.
The tennis star, stranded at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport amid political turmoil, received a letter from the Australian government saying her visa had been denied and she would be deported from the country on Thursday, she told Reuters. told a close source.
Australia’s border agency later confirmed that his visa had been revoked.
The source said the player would file an injunction to avoid being sent back. Meanwhile, Djokovic was on his way to a hotel in Melbourne.
In a dramatic series of events, Djokovic landed at Tullamarine airport on Wednesday after a 14-hour flight from Dubai, but Australian officials said his visa did not allow for a medical exemption, but in an isolation room under police guard. was moved.
The source told Reuters that the visas and paperwork that Djokovic used to enter the country were the same three other players who had already arrived.
The Australian government’s action threatened to cause a diplomatic incident between Canberra and Belgrade.
Serbia’s President Aleksandar Vucic posted on Instagram: “I just finished my phone conversation with Novak Djokovic.”
“I told my Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him and that our institutions are doing everything we can to immediately stop threats from the best tennis player in the world.”
“Serbia will fight for Novak, for truth and justice, according to all norms of international law. Novak is strong, as we all know,” he said.
Serbian media reported that Vucic summoned the Australian ambassador to Belgrade and demanded that Djokovic be immediately released to play.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is facing heavy backlash against his government’s decision to grant Djokovic a medical exemption from vaccination in order to compete at the Australian Open.
Australia, particularly the state of Victoria, had the longest lockdown in the world and the outbreak of the micron variant has pushed case counts to record highs.
Djokovic, who has declined to disclose his vaccination status, has won nine titles, including the last three at Melbourne Park. He confirmed on Tuesday that he has received a vaccination exemption to play at the Australian Open, which begins on January 17.
((Translation of Sao Paulo Newsroom))