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Novak Djokovic Could Be Banned From Australia For Three Years

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Novak Djokovic Could Be Banned From Australia For Three Years

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

By Stewart Perrie

Novak Djokovic is officially out of Australia after he boarded a late night flight from Sydney to Dubai yesterday (January 16).

The world number one male tennis star received news on Sunday that he was being deported from Australia once and for all.

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke cited 'health' and 'good order' under section 133C (3) of the Migration Act as grounds for booting the Serbian out of the country.

He said Djokovic's presence in Australia could stoke anti-vaccination sentiments in Australia and re-cancelled his visa on Friday (January 14) afternoon.

On late Sunday afternoon, the Federal Court of Australia unanimously agreed to uphold that decision, which sealed Novak's fate.

Novak Djokovic. Credit: Alamy
Novak Djokovic. Credit: Alamy

While Djokovic will no doubt be devastated to miss this year's Australian Open, where he was hoping to clinch a 10th title, the ramifications of his deportation order could see him sit on the sidelines for a while.

News Corp reports the Migration Act has a clause that prevents people from getting a visa for up to three years.

That means he could be banned from coming to Australia for the 2023 and 2024 Grand Slams.

However, it's worth noting that the three-year ban might be waived when the Australian Open comes around next year.

The law allows for people who have previously been deported to request an exemption if they can successfully argue that their presence in Australia can 'affect the interests' of the country.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

You could argue that having the world number one male tennis star at the tournament would affect Aussies' interest in the Australian Open.

However, it's unclear whether that would be a positive or negative reaction to his presence.

Former deputy secretary of the Immigration Department, Abul Rizvi, told The Project: "Djokovic can apply to the government to ask for the ban to be waived on compelling and compassionate grounds.

"I imagine if he wants to play in next year's Australian Open, he may apply.

"I suspect whoever is the minister would probably allow that."

Djokovic issued a statement yesterday before he was put on a plane home.

He said: "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,' the player concluded.

"You have all been a great source of strength to me."

Topics: vaccine, Australian Open, Novak Djokovic, Australia, Covid-19

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