Djokovic is being expelled from Australia for the second time, despite a court decision. What is happening?

Alisa Barladyan
15 Jan 2022

On January 10, the court granted Novak Djokovic's appeal against the decision of the Australian authorities to expel him from the country, but already during the meeting, the possible deportation of the Serb was discussed by the decision of the Australian Minister of Immigration. And finally, on January 14, the decision was made - the Serb's visa was canceled again!

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Novak Djokovic

Why was Djokovic not allowed into Australia in the first place?

As a general rule, Australians will only let foreigners in, if they have been vaccinated with the coronavirus vaccine recognized in Australia. However, Djokovic has been known as an anti-vaccine and did not get vaccinated, but he expected to enter on a medical exemption from vaccination - as he had recently recovered from covid.

However, the Australian federal authorities, changing their rhetoric as the situation developed, canceled Djokovic's visa at the airport - allegedly it was issued incorrectly, and Novak's arguments about the validity of the medical exemption did not convince them. As a result, they wanted to expel Djokovic from the country, but on January 7 he filed a lawsuit, and on the 10th a hearing was held on his case. At this time, the tennis player was isolated and was in a hotel for migrants.

Novak Djokovic

The unvaccinated Djokovic has been isolated in Australia and is being expelled from the country. What's happening?

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Why did the court reverse the decision to expel Djokovic?

The judge sided with Djokovic, deciding that technical procedures had been violated - the Serbian was not given a normal opportunity to answer all questions and provide all documents with the help of lawyers and Australian Tennis. In addition, from 4 am to 7:42 am Djokovic was without communication - he was told to turn off the phone, and he could not consult with lawyers.

At the same time, the judge said that even the Minister of the Interior of Australia agreed that the decision should be canceled, since the proceedings at the airport were violated and Djokovic did not get the opportunity to prove that he had the right to enter the country.

Why can Djokovic still be deported?

Djokovic was released by a judge, but this was not the last resort, since the Australian Minister of Immigration has the right to personally decide to deport an unvaccinated Serb from the country in the public interest and ban him from entering for three years. This possibility was also discussed in the courtroom.

As a result, shortly after the court decision, there were reports (false) that Novak was again detained at the office of his lawyers. The Australian authorities considered Djokovic's victory in court a purely technical moment due to errors in paperwork and procedural violations. In other words, in their opinion, the Australian border guards made the right decision to deport Djokovic, but incorrectly conducted the proceedings technically and legally, which is why the court granted Novak's appeal.

Border guards and police really gathered at the office, but there was no arrest, and in the evening Djokovic posted a happy photo from the Melbourne court: He said that he wanted to stay and participate in the tournament.

Fans support him with a mountain: 24,000 Serbs live in the state of Victoria, and many of them took to the streets of the city on the morning of January 10 to support Novak. Fans gathered near the car that had left the office of Djokovic's lawyers and prevented it from passing, and one of the fans climbed onto its roof. As a result, the police used tear gas.

As a result, on January 14, the Australian minister used his powers and canceled Djokovic's visa for the second time.

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What's wrong with Djokovic's medical exemption?

In court, Novak's side stated that on December 16, at 20:19, he received a positive test result for coronavirus. But the tennis player did not leave for any self-isolation, because on December 18, the best tennis player in the world starred in a L'Equipe photo shoot and gave an interview. The Serb himself explained this by saying that he did not want to let the journalist down, and noted that he kept a social distance and was wearing a mask, and took it off only during the photoset.

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There are two more problems: Spiegel journalists wrote that information about Djokovic's positive test appeared in the Serbian database not on December 16, but on December 26, and later than the negative test entered on December 22 - and this may indicate falsification of data.

In addition, Djokovic's declaration of traveler entering Australia indicated that he had not visited other countries two weeks prior to entry, although in fact he flew to Spain. The tennis player explained this by the human error of the Tennis Australia employees who filled out the declaration.

Will Djokovic play in Australia or not?

It is still not entirely clear, despite the fact that the Australian authorities canceled Novak's visa for the second time. But even this decision of Djokovic's lawyer can be appealed, which at the time of publication of this post has not yet been filed.

In the event of deportation, 34-year-old Djokovic may never win his tenth Australian Open title. And, perhaps, this is only the beginning of the most unusual season in Djokovic's career - he is unlikely to agree to be vaccinated, and its availability in 2022 against the background of the omicron may be required not only in Australia.

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