Australia, January 17
: Tennis star Novak Djokovic lost his visa appeal in Australia on January 16. Judges rejected his appeal after his visa was cancelled by the government as the player is yet unvaccinated against COVID-19.
The govt cited reasons of public health for cancelling his visa. It was the second time this month that his visa was cancelled. Hence, Djokovic was deported from Australia. Recently, Djokovic’s visa was cancelled by the Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke.
34-YO Novak Djokovic is the defending champion of upcoming Australian Open Tennis tournament. He had arrived in Australia with the target of winning a record 21st grand slam title of his career. But with this decision by the judges, he will now have to wait for the next grand slam competition. He was scheduled to play his first match on Monday. Instead, he is now deported.
A bench of 3 judges heard his case on Sunday. Djokovic’s defense unsuccessfully argued saying that the grounds cited by the government of Australia to cancel his visa are invalid and illogical. The chief justice of Australia’s Federal Court, James Allsop has said in the verdict that “The orders of the court are that the amended application be dismissed with costs.”
The tennis star is yet unvaccinated. His lawyer Nick Wood argued that his client hadn't courted anti-vaxxer support, and was not associated with this movement. In response, government lawyer Stephen Lloyd put facts in front of the court regarding Djokovic’s past behavior reflecting his antivaccine tendency.
He said, “The fact Djokovic is not vaccinated two years into the pandemic and has repeatedly ignored safety measures — including failing to isolate while Covid-19 positive — is evidence enough of his anti-vaccine views.”
Lloyd also said that “He has now become an icon for the anti-vaccination groups. Rightly or wrongly he is perceived to endorse an anti-vaccination view and his presence here is seen to contribute to that.” Djokovic is now facing immediate deportation, along with a 3-year ban from Australia.