Novak Djokovic to be deported after losing visa appeal

Jan 16, 2022
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 16: Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic leaves the Park hotel on January 16, 2022 in Melbourne, Australia. Djokovic is in detention and faces deportation after his visa was cancelled by the Australian government. His appeal will be heard today, one day before he is scheduled to play in the Australian Open. (Photo by Diego Fedele/Getty Images)

Novak Djokovic has lost his court appeal against the cancellation of his visa and will be deported from Australian shores.  His visa has been cancelled as a result. And he will be unable to defend his title in the Australian Open 2022 which kicks off tomorrow.

He will now face a three-year ban on returning to Australia.

According to Federal Court chief justice James Allsop, the decision was unanimous.

Novak Djokovic has released a statement following the court ruling:

“I would like to make a brief statement to address the outcomes of today’s Court hearing. I will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this.

I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open.

I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.

I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love. I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament.

Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends, team, supporters, fans and my fellow Serbians for your continued support. You have all been a great source of strength to me.”

Twitter has erupted with strong sentiments on both sides.

On Friday the 14th January, Immigration Minister Alex Hawke announced he was cancelling Djokovic’s visa, “on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so”.

“Today I exercised my power to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds,” he said in a statement.

“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.

“The Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I thank the officers of the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve Australia’s interests in increasingly challenging operational environments.”

Djokovic’s lawyers challenged the second visa cancellation and the result was handed down at 5.45m AEST on Sunday 16th January 2022.

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