Tennis star player, Novak Djokovic’s Australian visa has been revoked once more, just days before the Australian Open begins.
On Friday, Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, used his personal authority to reject Djokovic’s visa, effectively putting the world No. 1 out of contention for the grand slam tournament unless he wins a match against the odds.
The decision comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Thursday that he expects authorities to obey the government’s regulations, which require non-citizen non-residents to be doubly vaccinated or have a medical exemption.
On the evening of January 5, Djokovic arrived in Australia. He assumed that a visa granted on November 18th, as well as an exemption accepted by Tennis Australia’s chief medical officer and a Victorian government independent expert panel, would be enough to allow him to visit Australia.
Djokovic’s visa was initially cancelled by a delegate of the home affairs minister last Thursday, after late-night questioning at Melbourne airport, on the basis that a recent Covid infection was insufficient for an exemption from Australia’s rigorous vaccination requirements.
Djokovic constituted a public health concern, according to the delegate, because he was not vaccinated.
However, on Monday, a federal circuit court judge reinstated Djokovic’s visa, ruling that the Australian Border Force’s refusal to honor a bargain to give him more time at the airport to handle the exemption issue was unjustified.
The government’s attorneys promptly informed the world’s No. 1 that the immigration minister could still use his personal authority to revoke the visa.
Djokovic admitted on Wednesday that his agent made an “administrative error” when reporting he had not traveled in the two weeks leading up to his journey to Australia, and that he made an “error of judgment” by not isolating after testing positive for Covid.
The new decision to revoke the visa will likely leave the Australian Open without one of its biggest stars, with Djokovic unable to defend the crown he has won nine times.