Australia Could Deport Novak Djokovic If He 'Hasn't Told The Truth' About His Vaccine Status
Djokovic is stuck at a hotel while his visa drama plays out.
Novak Djokovic is stuck in limbo at a hotel in Australia, where he now faces deportation over his vaccination status ahead of the Australian Open.
The world's top male tennis player is currently confined to an immigration detention hotel in Melbourne after entering the country yesterday on a visa that didn't hold up at the border.
Djokovic originally brought up on Twitter that he'd been granted a vaccine exemption to play in the Australian Open, but officials stopped him when he arrived at the Melbourne airport because of an issue with his visa. Authorities said he "failed to provide appropriate evidence" at the border.
He was held at the airport for several hours and then later moved to the detention hotel where he's riding out the dispute.
"Mr Djokovic's visa has been cancelled," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted on Thursday. "Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules," read the tweet.
Mr Djokovic\u2019s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant.— Scott Morrison (@Scott Morrison) 1641419815
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce also spoke out against Djokovic and said that if he "hasn't told the truth" about his exemption, he should be barred from entry into Australia and deported.
"You can't just wander around the world thinking that because you're really rich you're really above the laws of other nations," Joyce told the BBC.
Djokovic was travelling to Australia for the Australian Open, which begins on January 17.
The tournament committee previously announced that Djokovic would be allowed to enter the country with an exemption for the vaccine, which sparked a lot of anger amongst Australians who disagreed with the decision.
Djokovic even seems to have boasted about his apparent medical exemption on a Twitter post, which definitely has not aged well given he now faces deportation.
Happy New Year! Wishing you all health, love & joy in every moment & may you feel love & respect towards all beings on this wonderful planet.\n\nI\u2019ve spent fantastic quality time with loved ones over break & today I\u2019m heading Down Under with an exemption permission. Let\u2019s go 2022!pic.twitter.com/e688iSO2d4— Novak Djokovic (@Novak Djokovic) 1641293718
Djokovic's case will be decided in court on Monday, according to reports.
Meanwhile, Djokovic is received unwavering support from his native Serbia.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic claimed that Djokovic is being "harassed" by the Australian government.
The player's dad, Srdjan Djokovic, also said that "this is not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world," and confirmed that his son is being held in the hotel room, which is being guarded by the police.
His coach, Goran Ivanisevic, shared a photo from the hotel on Thursday.
"Not the most usual trip down under," he wrote.
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