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Earlier this morning South African time, Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke announced that Novak Djokovic’s visa was once again cancelled.
He may have won his first appeal against that visa cancellation but it looks like he’s lost the war.
Djokovic’s case wouldn’t have been helped by the fact that he admitted errors were made on his immigration form (allegedly by his agent), or the fact that he socialised with people in the days after receiving a positive COVID-19 test result on December 16.
Hawke’s statement in full below via The Guardian:
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.
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.
I thank the officers of the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force who work every day to serve Australia’s interests in increasingly challenging operational environments.
Anybody who was watched Ozzie TV series Border Patrol probably saw this coming.
Yes, Djokovic has made dishonest errors and yes, he may well deserve to be sent home, but it really didn’t have to play out like this.
On the other hand, there was a simple solution:
(Periodic and important reminder that Djokovic could have avoided all this rigamarole by simply getting vaccinated like 97%+ of his tennis player peers have.)
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) January 14, 2022
Reports suggest that Djokovic’s lawyers are still considering their legal options. Should they appeal, they will likely ask for “a streamlined trial with condensed time for written submissions and verbal evidence”.
The Serb was entered into the Australian Open draw yesterday but it now appears likely that he will not take part.
Arrangements have now been made for Djokovic to attend an interview with immigration officials tomorrow.
Rafa Nadal may never get a better chance to win his 21st singles Grand Slam title, although his sole Australian Open win back in 2009 shows that it’s not his favourite tournament.
There’s always the French Open and clay…
You can follow live updates of the Djokovic saga as it unfolds here.
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