Novak Djokovic denied entry to Australia after visa revoked at airport

Novak Djokovic has been denied entry to Australia after his visa was denied by border authorities ahead of the Australian Open.

The Serbian claimed to have been granted a medical exemption from Covid-19 vaccination, sparking outrage and calls of inconsistency in Australia, where visitors must be vaccinated unless exempt.

The move looked set to allow the 20-time Grand Slam winner to compete at Melbourne Park later this month, with the tournament starting on 17 January. And the 34-year-old, who beat Daniil Medvedev in last year’s final, landed in Melbourne on Wednesday only to be held up at passport control over his visa.

Acting Sports Minister Jaala Pulford had earlier confirmed that the state government would not support his visa application to compete in the Australian Open.

She tweeted: “The Federal Government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic‘s visa application to enter Australia. We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.

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“We’ve always been clear on two points: visa approvals are a matter for the Federal Government, and medical exemptions are a matter for doctors.”

Tournament director Craig Tiley earlier said it would be “helpful” for Djokovic to clarify his situation on what exempts him from vaccination.

Prime Minister Morrison told a media conference on Wednesday: “We await his presentation and what evidence he provides us to support that.

“If that evidence is insufficient, then he won’t be treated any different to anyone else and he’ll be on the next plane home. There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all. None whatsoever.”

More than 90 per cent of Australia’s over-16 population are fully vaccinated.

More to follow…

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