Politics

Novak Djokovic is deported from Australia & banned from returning for 3 years

Novak Djokovic has been deported from Australia after losing a court appeal against the cancellation of his visa.

Three judges upheld a decision to revoke the unvaccinated tennis star’s visa on public interest grounds, meaning he cannot defend his Australian Open title.

In a statement following the court’s decision, Djokovic said he was “extremely disappointed with the ruling” and he would be “taking some time to rest and to recuperate”.

He added: “I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love.”

The full reasons behind the judges’ unanimous ruling will be published in the “coming days”, with Djokovic also ordered to pay the government’s court costs.

He now faces a three-year ban on returning to the country, with the ruling coming just a day before the start of the Australian Open.

Djokovic’s visa was revoked for a second time on Friday after immigration minister Alex Hawke said the Serbian’s presence in Australia posed a public health risk.

The minister argued that Djokovic risked whipping up anti-vaccination sentiment and causing civil unrest during Australia’s worst outbreak of COVID-19 since the pandemic began.

Djokovic deportation ‘will keep Australians safe’, says PM

Following Sunday’s hearing, Mr Hawke said he welcomed the ruling to uphold his decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa “in the public interest”.

“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,” he added.

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