They wouldn't let him out of the airport! 🎾
Tennis star Novak Djokovic has been catching some heat recently after he boasted about allegedly being granted special permission to play in the Australian Open without showing proof of vaccination.
However, he still couldn't get into the country on Wednesday because of a mistake involving his papers, and he spent several hours detained at the airport instead of preparing to play.
Djokovic has not disclosed his vaccination status publicly but has claimed to be "opposed to vaccination," according to BBC News.
All players entering the country for the tennis tournament must be vaccinated or granted a relevant exemption from an expert panel, BBC reports.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that if Djokovic does not have a valid reason for exemption, he won't be allowed entry, but that hasn't been enough to convince Australians who were upset by the decision.
Djokovic boasted about the exemption on Twitter Tuesday, before his airport mixup.
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
"I've spent fantastic quality time with loved ones over break & today I'm heading Down Under with an exemption permission," read his tweet. "Let's go 2022!"
Now, in a quick turn of events, Djokovic is being denied entry into the country because of an apparent visa blunder.
The champion tennis player arrived in Melbourne on January 5 despite the backlash he received over his exemption.
By the time he arrived in Australia, it was discovered that the visa submitted by his team didn't permit medical exemptions for being unvaccinated, reported CNN.
His application was rejected a few hours before his flight landed, Australia's The Age reports.
Australian border officers questioned the tennis star for several hours at the airport, and it was not clear when he'd be released.
Morrison said Djokovic needs to show evidence that he can't be vaccinated for medical reasons and that he "could be on the next plane home" if he doesn't do that, BBC reports.
"He won't be treated any different to anyone else," Morrison said. "There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all."
The Australian Open is set to begin on January 17.
Health Canada has a robust website with all the latest information on COVID-19 vaccines and can answer any questions you may have.
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