Djokovic, the new detention has started, on Sunday the final decision on the expulsion from Australia

from Paolo Foschi

The Serbian tennis player has been notified of the new revocation of the entry visa. The legal battle continues, but the champion’s run-up to Slam number 21 is increasingly uphill

Novak Djokovic back in custody. The measure taken with the notification by immigration officials of the revocation of the visa decided by Minister Alex Hawke,
pending of the hearing scheduled for Sunday morning before the Federal Court call to decide on the thorny case of the tennis champion e of his stay in Australian for participation in the Tennis Open. According to the government, in fact, the presence of the number one in world tennis, not vaccinated against Covid, could encourage sentiment against vaccines. The Australian authorities have presented a pleading to justice for this, calling for the expulsion of the Serbian from the country. The run-up of the Serbian player to the Slam number 21 in career therefore again uphill. Entered in the tournament draw as seed number 1, now risks being sent home before the debut match against fellow countryman Kecmanovic.

The case, reconstructed in detail in the article by Marco Calabresi and Andrea Sereni, has been dragging on for days. Here is the reconstruction of what happened. On January 4th, the tennis player announces to followers on Instagram that he is leaving for Australia, he has with him a medical exemption for the vaccine which should guarantee him entry into the country despite the strict local regulations to deal with the pandemic. Nothing yet suggests the incredible story that will develop after a few hours. Djokovic arrives at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport in the middle of the night, but is locked in a room here, with two officers guarding the door, and is subjected to an interrogation of over seven hours at the end of which the revocation of the entry visa is triggered. The champion admits to the Melbourne authorities that he has never been vaccinated against Covid and reveals that he tested positive for the virus on December 16, which is why he holds the vaccine exemption. The story presents several inconsistencies that make its position shake. As verifiable on the Internet and on social networks in the days following the positivity he had participated in public events, giving an interview to the team and had himself photographed in the presence of other people. He also declares that he did not travel in the 14 days prior to his arrival in Australia, but it immediately emerges that at that time he was in Spain and Serbia. A human and certainly not deliberate mistake made by his agent, he explains, in filling out the travel form.

The entry visa is revoked and is thus transferred in the Park Hotel detention center in custody, but his lawyers appeal and Judge Anthony Kelly’s first ruling in favor of the champion, but only for a procedural error of the Immigration Department. From the transcripts of the interrogation carried out during the night at customs, inconsistencies emerge regarding the time promised and then actually granted to Djokovic to defend himself and present valid reasons. A formal defect that allows the Serbian to win the first legal battle with the Australian government and thus to leave the Park Hotel. On Monday evening he runs to Melbourne Park to train, shares a photo with his racket in hand and coach Ivanisevic by his side. The odyssey for not over. The new visa revocation decided by the Minister of Immigration arrives. And now the word goes to the Federal Court.

According to Australian law experts, the special powers entrusted to the government are difficult to counter, unless – as happened with the first revocation – a formal defect emerges. According to Minister Hawke, Djokovic’s presence in the country it can pose a health risk to the community, fueling the no-vax sentiment and discouraging people from taking calls. The minister also admitted that Djokovic at negligible risk of infecting Australians, but argued that his past disregard for Covid-19 regulations could pose a public health risk and encourage people to ignore the rules of the pandemic. A thesis that according to the tennis player’s lawyers is not supported by any evidence. Meanwhile, the Spanish tennis player has also returned to the Djokovic case Reef Nadal: The Australian Open is much more important than any player. It will be a great Australian Open with or without him.

January 15, 2022 (change January 15, 2022 | 05:15)

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Djokovic, the new detention has started, on Sunday the final decision on the expulsion from Australia