Australian Open: Novak Djokovic's visa to enter country cancelled, PM Scott Morrison says 'rules are rules'

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 06, 2022, 07:02 AM(IST)

Djokovic appeal to be heard Saturday after Australia cancels visa again Photograph:( Reuters )

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As per reports, the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic summoned the Australian ambassador in Belgrade and demanded that they immediately release Djokovic to play

Tennis legend Novak Djokovic's participation in the Australian Open 2022 is jeopardised as he is unable to enter the country after his visa was denied on his arrival in Melbourne on Thursday. 

Djokovic was stopped at Melbourne's Tullamarine and was left stranded there for hours overnight. He is now reportedly being taken to a government detention hotel and his departure is pending after border forces announced he had not met entry rules. 

Aiming to defend his Aus Open title, the tennis world number one was initially granted a medical exemption from the country's coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccination requirements. 

ALSO READ | 'Shame!! shame, shame': Australia reacts to Novak Djokovic's Australian Open vaccine exemption

For the unversed, Djokovic has declined to reveal his vaccine status and Melbourne has endured the world's longest cumulative lockdown. 

During a media conference on Thursday, the Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt said, "The advice that I have literally just received before joining you is that the visa for Novak Djokovic has been cancelled." 

It's a matter for him whether he wishes to appeal that, but if a visa is cancelled, somebody will have to leave the country," he added. 

Australian PM says 'rules are rules'

Immediately after the incident the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic summoned the Australian ambassador in Belgrade and demanded that they immediately release Djokovic to play, as per Serbian media reports. 

Watch | Gravitas: 'Rules are Rules': Australia bars Novak Djokovic from Australian Open

On his Instagram, Vucic posted: "I've just finished my telephone conversation with Novak Djokovic. I told our Novak that the whole of Serbia is with him and that our bodies are doing everything to see that the harassment of the world's best tennis player is brought to an end immediately. In line with all norms of international law, Serbia will fight for Novak, truth and justice. Novak is strong, as we all know."

Meanwhile, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said "rules are rules". Taking to his official Twitter handle, Morrison wrote, "Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant."

ALSO READ | Aus Open 2022: World No. 1 Novak Djokovic lands amid vaccine storm but held up by visa issue



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