World No.1 and the defending Champion of the Australian Open Novak Djokovic is on the verge of missing out from the chance of defending his title after he was denied entry into Australia over Vaccine Exemption.
The Nine-time champion of the hard court showpiece journeyed across the World from Dubai to Australia only for him to be placed in isolation in a room guarded by the Police and has been told on Thursday morning to leave the country after a 10-hour tussle with government officials who stood by their Covid protocols.
Djokovic had arrived Australia with an “exemption permission” but the Visa he had applied for doesn’t allow for such purposes.
The Australian Border Force confirmed this via a statement issued that the Serbian star ‘failed to provide appropriate evidence” and that they have cancelled his visa.
“The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.
Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia.
The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone.”Australian Border Force (ABF) statement
Also, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who had tweeted about the saga saying their rules and policies are no respecter of person also confirmed to newsmen that Djokovic “didn’t have a valid medical exemption” to the vaccination requirements for anyone arriving the country.
“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.”Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Twitter
“I am advised that such an exemption was not in place, and as a result, he is subject to the same rules as everyone else.” Morrison said.
“There are many visas granted, if you have a visa and you’re double vaccinated you’re very welcome to come here,” he added.
“But if you’re not double vaccinated and you’re not an Australian resident or citizen, well, you can’t come.” He iterated.
Also Australia’s minister for home affairs Karen Andrews stated via a statement that “it is the Commonwealth Government that will enforce our requirements at the Australian border” and she added that there won’t be any special treatment for individuals competing at this year’s Aussie Open.
However, it is said that the star who is tied with Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer for most Grand Slams (20) has a chance to appeal the Government’s decision.
In another development fellow 20-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal has hit out at his rival that he should also get vaccinated if he wants to play and comport with the protocols saying “the world has been suffering enough to not follow the rules. I think if he wanted, he would be playing here without problem.”
Australia is one of the countries that have fought the biggest battles against Covid-19, this has led to strict lockdown and closure of international borders which lasted months as well as prohibition of inter state travels.
The country now deals with more than 30,000 cases a day.
Djokovic if allowed to participate in the event will be hoping to take the lead among the aforementioned trio in terms of Grand Slam men’s single titles as the hard court of the Australian open works well for him and could be pivotal to him winning his tenth Aussie Open title in Melbourne.