The plane with the Serbian tennis player going to the Australian Open Grand Slam landed in Melbourne on Wednesday, several dozen minutes before midnight local time. Several hours passed and Novak Djoković still did not leave the airport. Serbian media reported that Djoković “was not allowed to enter Melbourne because the Victorian state authorities refused his visa because of allegedly poorly completed paperwork that does not match those who have received sick leave and do not need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.”
Is there an exception for Djokovic or is there not?
The continuing pandemic has led to severe sanitary restrictions in Australia, which will also apply to this year’s Australian Open Grand Slam tournament. A few weeks ago it was announced that only vaccinated tennis players would be able to take part in the competition.
Recently, however, there has been information that one exception will be introduced, which caused a lot of controversy. This was precisely about Djokovic, who was allowed to participate in the tournament, although he has not disclosed his immunization status for a long time. This leads to the conclusion that the Serb did not get vaccinated against the coronavirus.
Djoković was to be declared a “medical exception” and he could have appeared in the AO. Wednesday’s events at the Melbourne airport show, however, that this exception may not be enough.
Djoković’s visa was rejected. The President of Serbia intervenes
The portal telegraf.rs informed in the evening of Polish time that the leader of the ATP ranking is imprisoned at the airport in a room guarded by two policemen. Djoković is to be deprived of access to a mobile phone and the possibility of contacting members of his team. – The best tennis player in the world is treated like a criminal, he is in custody. This is outrageous behavior by the Australian authorities, claim the Serbian media.
A moment later, however, it turned out that the Serbian president, Aleksandar Vucci, had a telephone conversation with the Serb. – I told our Novak that all of Serbia is with him and that our people will do everything to ensure that the harassment of the best tennis player in the world is ended immediately – Vuć wrote on Instagram. In the meantime, it became known that Djokovic’s staff had applied for a visa that did not allow for sick leave. By decision of the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, this request was rejected. This has led to the tennis player being expelled from Australia on Thursday morning.
Aleksandar Vucic summoned the Australian ambassador to Belgrade and demanded that Djokovic be allowed to play in the Australian Open immediately, Serbian media reported. – In accordance with all the norms of international law, Serbia will fight for Novak, truth and justice – stressed the president.
All the fuss over the best tennis player in the world today is that he has not accepted the coronavirus vaccine. However, the Serb wants to fight for victory at the Australian Open. “Djokovic must prove he has a real medical exemption from the COVID-19 vaccination when he lands in Australia or is on the next flight home,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday morning.
However, the tennis player previously received an exemption from the Australians which is now being challenged by them. It looks as if the Australian authorities were trying to rectify their mistake of granting Djokovic a special waiver and were unaware of how much confusion the world would have to admit to the tournament on a “medical exception” basis.