Novak Djokovic may not be allowed to participate in the Australian Open after Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, ordered for the Serbian tennis star’s visa to be cancelled for the second time.
The world No.1 tennis player was held at a hotel after being initially denied entry to the country before the judge, Anthony Kelly, called for Djokovic to be freed from immigration detention.
However, Hawke exercised his personal power to cancel Djokovic‘s visa again, despite the player having received a medical exemption to participate in the tournament, and the 34-year-old star could now be deported from the country.
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act 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,” read Hawke‘s statement.
“This decision followed orders by the Federal Circuit and Family Court on 10 January 2022, quashing a prior cancellation decision on procedural fairness grounds.
“In making this decision, I carefully considered information provided to me by the Department of Home Affairs, the Australian Border Force and Mr Djokovic.
“The Morrison Government is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Pressure to deport Djokovic
Popular pressure has been key to Hawke‘s decision as according to polls, 83 percent of the Australian were in favour of Djokovic‘s deportation.
However, the tennis star’s lawyers are expected to appeal against Hawke‘s decision to cancel Djokovic‘s visa, as they had successfully did previously when the player was denied entry to the country.