Australian Open 2022: Novak Djokovic faces deportation after visa cancelled for second time
Novak Djokovic's visa has been cancelled by Australia again. He had failed to provide enough proof for his vaccine exemption. His visa had been cancelled before, while the court had revoked it.
In a significant development regarding the 2022 Australian Open, defending champion Novak Djokovic's visa has been cancelled by Australia. On Friday, the Serbian's visa was revoked for the second time after failing to prove his COVID vaccine exemption to enter the country. His participation in the opening Grand Slam of the year is seriously dented now.
As per the BBC, Australia's Immigration Minister Alex Hawke announced the decision. It puts Djokovic in line for deportation. However, if the reigning world number one wants, he can still challenge the decision in legal terms to remain in the country and compete in the Slam. He has already been drawn against fellow countryman Miomir Kecmanović in the tournament's opening round, to be played from Monday.
On January 6, Djokovic had his visa revoked for the first time after failing to prove his vaccine exemption to enter the country. He was detained by the Australian Border Force (ABF) and faced deportation. The Serbian later challenged the decision in an Australian court through the help of his lawyers.
The Australian general public was against Djokovic's decision to enter the country with a vaccine exemption, stating that it was unfair to give the defending AO champion special exemptions when they had to undergo strict regimes. Later, the Australian judge issued a stay order on his visa and revoked calls for deportation. However, Hawke instated his special powers to cancel the Serbian's visa again on Friday.
Djokovic's visa was cancelled again on the grounds of the potential risk to "health, safety or good order of the Australian community". Earlier, the reigning world number one had claimed that the issue occurred after he had submitted a false declaration on his travel form. But, he termed it not deliberate, while it was a human error.
Although Djokovic had admitted in the travel form that he had not travelled to any country 14 days before entering Australia, he had travelled to Spain during this time. He also had reportedly tested positive for COVID during this time before quickly testing negative. He also acknowledged having met a journalist while he was COVID positive.