Novak Djokovic faces being detained again even if he wins appeal to play Australian Open
Novak Djokovic: Nigel Farage criticises Australian government
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Tennis sensation Novak Djokovic could find himself immediately detained again, even if he wins an appeal against his controversial visa cancellation on Monday. The Serb has been held in a Melbourne detention centre since more detail was demanded on his medical exemption to enter Australia and compete at this month’s Grand Slam.
In a recent development, the Australian government’s attempt to delay the hearing until Wednesday has been denied.
A judgment should therefore be reached on Monday as originally planned, although the verdict falling on Djokovic’s side may not automatically mean he is free to compete.
According to the government’s written response to the 34-year-old’s deportation appeal document, they retain the right to detain Djokovic immediately after a decision is reached.
Djokovic’s saga has caused a stir around the world, with his treatment by Australian officials dividing opinion.
The 20-time Grand Slam winner has not yet revealed his vaccination status, although he has been vocally critical of mandated vaccines in the past.
It therefore prompted public outcry Down Under when Djokovic cited a medical exemption as grounds for him to enter the country and compete.
The exemption was approved by two separate, independent medical panels prior to his arrival, with a positive Covid test in December the key factor.
But even that has come under scrutiny after pictures posted to his social media profile showed Djokovic attending a public event without a mask on the day after his positive test.
Furthermore, the Australian government now insists that recent infections are only grounds for medical exemptions for their own residents.
As the tennis world awaits Monday’s decision, Australian tennis star Nick Kyrgios has criticsed the way his country’s government has treated one of the biggest names in the sport.
“As a fellow athlete, I could only imagine how his life is and I’m just feeling for him at this moment in time,” he told the No Boundaries podcast.
“Whether it’s right or wrong, and there’s so much going on that we don’t know, the politics behind it all, but he’s a human at the end of the day.
“I kind of feel sorry for him, I don’t think this is the right way to go about it.
“Vaccinated or not, Visa ok or not.”
Andy Murray also weighed in on the saga, telling reporters in Australia on Sunday: “I think everyone is shocked by it [the circumstances], to be honest.
“I’m going to say two things on it just now. The first thing is that I hope that Novak is OK. I know him well, and I’ve always had a good relationship with him, and I hope that he’s OK.
“The second thing I’ll say on it … it’s really not good for tennis at all, and I don’t think it’s good for anyone involved. I think it’s really bad.”
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