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Novak Djokovic’s bid to stay in Australia goes before courts -Breaking


© Reuters. Pro-refugeee demonstrators gather outside Park Hotel in Melbourne. Novak Djokovic, Serbian tennis star, is thought to be being held there while he remains. This was captured by police officers on January 10, 2022. REUTERS/Sandra Sanders


MELBOURNE, (Reuters) – Novak Djokovic will face the courts Monday to fight for his right to stay in Australia to bid for a record-breaking tennis title. The star player’s legal team and the federal government are due to clash over Djokovic’s controversial COVID-19 exemption.

Djokovic has been detained in an immigration hotel ever since his visa was cancelled on Wednesday at Melbourne’s Airport. He claims that his recent COVID-19-related infection qualifies him to receive a medical exemption from Australia’s double vaccination requirement.

The Australian government however stated that citizens do not have the right of guaranteed entry into Australia. They also said that the Serbian had to be detained again to remove him from Australia.

Following Judge Anthony Kelly’s rejection of a government request to postpone the hearing for Wednesday, the Federal Circuit Court and Family Court will hold the hearing at 10. It will be conducted remotely, and the session can also be streamed live for public viewing.

Djokovic is the current world number one and hopes to win the record 21st Grand Slam at this year’s Australian Open. It starts in Melbourne, Australia on January 17.

The Serbian footballer was instead confined to a hotel for asylum seekers. He is now challenging his decision to cancel the visa he received upon arrival at Melbourne Airport.

Djokovic supporters have been seen outside the hotel cheering and dancing, as well as protestors who are critical of Australia’s brutal asylum policies.

Djokovic is a strong opponent to COVID-19 mandates and stated in court papers that he was granted exemption from vaccine due to his December exposure. According to paperwork, he wasn’t vaccinated.

His attorneys claimed that he received all necessary permits to travel to Australia. They also provided an assessment from Department of Home Affairs which indicated that the answers on his travel declaration form met requirements for quarantine-free admission. This was disputed by the government.

The department informed him that the email he received from them was not an “assurance” of his “medical exemption”. His responses can be checked upon his arrival.

Djokovic also had to be denied a medical exemption because he had suffered from COVID-19 since mid-December. He had fully recovered two weeks later.

It is not possible to say that the applicant was suffering from an “acute medical illness”. His only statement was that he test positive for COVID-19. The filing stated that this is “not the same.”

L’Equipe in France published a picture of the player in which he was named Champion of Champions. It was just days after he stated that he had test positive for coronavirus in a court filing. He was also photographed at events in Serbia soon after his coronavirus test, as well as other photos posted on social media.

Djokovic did not know of his positive result at the time the photos were taken.

Djokovic (34), has won nine Australian Opens. The drama surrounding his refusal to enter has led to tensions in sport circles. It has also sparked tensions with Australia.


On Sunday, the government filed a statement stating that Djokovic could be released from custody and allowed to play at the Open. However, Australian law allows the government to ban him as he is not a citizen.

Djokovic’s father was particularly furious at the incident, and addressed another protest on Sunday in front Serbia’s parliament in Belgrade.

Are we all animals? “Are we animals? We’re human beings. We are proud to be a part of this world. He is not respected by them.”

Craig Tiley, the CEO of Tennis Australia said that his company had been in contact with officials from both the federal and the state governments for several months to secure the passage of the players.

Czech star Renata voracova, a Czech player, was taken into custody in the same prison as Djokovic. After issues with her vaccine exemption, her visa was cancelled and she left the country, without challenging her status.