Australian Minister Alex Hawke has cancelled tennis star Novak Djokovic’s visa. This means that the 20-time Grand Slam champion will be deported from Australia.
Hawke has exercised his power to overturn the immigration court’s decision allowing the Serbian tennis star to stay in the country and take part in the Australian Open.
“Today I exercised my power… to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” the minister said in a statement.
The decision by the Australian minister comes a day after the Australian Open announced its draw. Djokovic was drawn against fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic.
This is the second time that Djokovic has had his visa cancelled. The nine-time Australian Open champion was denied entry to Australia after he arrived at the Melbourne airport earlier this month.
The Serbian tennis player was placed in a detention hotel for several days until a court in Melbourne overturned the Australian Border Force’s decision to deny him entry to the country.
If Djokovic is indeed forced to leave the country, he may not be allowed to enter Australia for the next three years. This means that he may never be able to compete at the Australian Open again.
Earlier this week, Djokovic had sensationally admitted that he broke rules on COVID isolation and lied to the Australian immigration authorities about his travel history after testing positive for coronavirus. However, despite his confession, the 20-time Grand Slam champion had refused to issue an apology. Instead, he had only blamed the media for spreading misinformation.
Djokovic was accused of going ahead with his public appearances even after testing positive for the virus. One of his public engagements included giving an interview to a French newspaper L’Equipe and doing a photo shoot for it. He had also attended a function where he posed for the camera with school children.