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Tennis

Letting Novak Djokovic enter Australia would be a ‘slap in the face’ to vaccinated people

Max Sherry

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Letting Novak Djokovic enter Australia would be a ‘slap in the face’ to vaccinated people

If Novak Djokovic's three-year Australia ban was overturned so he could play at next year's Australian Open, it would be a “slap in the face” to vaccinated people.

That's according to Shadow Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews, who thinks the former world No.1 should be kept out of the country – for now, at least.

Earlier this year, Novak Djokovic became embroiled in a saga which engulfed the nation of Australia.

Upon arrival Down Under ahead of the Australian Open, the unvaccinated Serbian tennis player's visa was cancelled, despite initial claims he had received an “exemption” from the government.

After lengthy legal battles and even time in a detention centre, Djokovic was eventually deported and slapped with a three-year ban from entering Australian shores.

Djokovic after being deported from Australia. Image: PA Images
Djokovic after being deported from Australia. Image: PA Images

Nine months on and there have been whispers that his ban could be overturned so that he could play in the Australian Open come January.

But while Novak die-hards are probably hoping they get to see the man himself step foot on Rod Laver Arena, others aren't too fond of the idea – including the Shadow Home Affairs Minister.

“It would be a slap in the face for those people in Australia who did the right thing… if all of a sudden, Novak Djokovic is allowed back into the country, simply because he is a high-ranking tennis player with many millions of dollars,” Andrews told ABC Radio Melbourne.

“I don’t think there is any reason it should be overturned because someone has a lot of money.

“It shouldn’t be one rule for Novak Djokovic and a different rule for everybody else.”

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Australia has remained pretty firm on its vaccination policy and even firmer on its immigration stance.

Dan Tehan, who is the Shadow Immigration Minister, reckons allowing Djokovic into the country could shift the public's perception on the current restrictions in place.

“As a tennis lover, I’d love to see him there… but the most important thing here is that we protect the integrity of our immigration system,” Tehan told Sky News Australia.

“The rules about coming into Australia have changed, you don’t have to be vaccinated anymore.

“If they decide that he can come, they’ve got to do so in making that decision in a way to protect the integrity of our immigration system.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia, Australian Open, Novak Djokovic

Max Sherry
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