Australian PM welcomes court’s decision to deport Djokovic for violating Covid vaccine mandate

WION Web Team
New Delhi Updated: Jan 16, 2022, 09:40 PM(IST)

Morrison asserted that the decision was made on "health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest". Photograph:( Reuters )

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Djokovic, 34, left Australia on an Emirates flight to Dubai, hours after he lost a legal challenge against a decision to revoke his visa.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Sunday hailed the federal court’s decision to deport Novak Djokovic for violating Covid vaccine mandate.

Earlier in the day, Djokovic, 34, left Australia on an Emirates flight to Dubai, hours after he lost a legal challenge against a decision to revoke his visa.

The world No. 1 Serbian tennis star had been scheduled to play Monday night in the Australian Open, where he had hoped to win a record-breaking 21st men's grand slam title.

Issuing a statement, Morrison said that there would be “no special rules” for Djokovic.

Also read | Australia's deportation of Novak Djokovic is scandalous, says Serbian PM

“I welcome the decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe,” Morrison's statement read.

“As I said on Friday, Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected. Over the pandemic, together we have achieved one of the lowest death rates, strongest economies and highest vaccination rates, in the world,” he said.

Morrison asserted that the decision was made on "health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest".

Also read | Novak Djokovic deported: How entire Australian Open visa saga unfolded

Djokovic, the world’s top men’s tennis player, was first detained by Australian immigration authorities on January 6 and was later released by a court on January 10.

However, he was detained again on Saturday, after Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used discretionary powers to cancel his visa.

The three-judge Federal Court panel upheld Hawke’s decision, which cited grounds that Djokovic could post a threat to public order because his presence would encourage anti-vaccination sentiment amidst Australia`s worst outbreak of the virus.

(With inputs from agencies)

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