Novak Djokovic will be deported from Australia after losing visa appeal
The saga is over
It's official, Novak Djokovic will be deported from Australia after having lost his visa appeal for the second time.
The Serbian tennis star has been at the centre of a media storm and much public debate after he was initially granted vaccine exemption, however, three Federal Court judges have now upheld a decision to revoke his visa on the grounds of "public interest".
Tennis star Novak Djokovic says he is disappointed that a court has dismissed his challenge to a deportation order and accepts that his hopes of playing at the Australian Open are dashed. https://t.co/rD2qMxYF6v
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 16, 2022
Djokovic deported: Player is "extremely disappointed"
Not only was the 34-year-old thought to have lied about his vaccine status, but his team failed to provide the correct paperwork and ultimately went on to break Covid restrictions anyway, with Djokovic attending a public event even after he returned a positive rapid test.
Australian authorities removed his visa for a second time on Friday, with immigration minister Alex Hawke saying he had "good order grounds" to do so. Now though, as Hawke warned at the time, Djokovic could face a three-year ban on returning to the country, meaning he may not be able to defend his Australian Open title for some time. Hawke went on to say of the ruling:
"Australians have made great sacrifices to get to this point and the Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting this position, as the Australian people expect."
Many people were frustrated that the unvaccinated player was given 'special treatment' for the sake of the high-profile tournament.
In a statement following the decision, Djokovic said he was "extremely disappointed with the ruling" and will be "taking some time to rest and to recuperate", adding that while he is "uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me [...] I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love."
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