[imagesource: James Ross / AAP /AP]
Rest assured that we’re all tired of talking about Novak Djokovic and his Australian visa saga.
It has been cancelled, he has left the country, and the tournament will go on without him.
So too will the stories, I guess.
Yesterday, Australia’s federal court unanimously upheld the decision and Djokovic boarded an Emirates flight from Melbourne to Dubai.
So what part doesn’t the Serbian world number one seem to understand? Well, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison has made it clear that Djokovic was deported because he tried to breach entry rules at the border.
He admitted that his agent had incorrectly filled out an immigration form that claimed he had not left Spain for 14 days prior to travelling to Australia.
Below via The Guardian:
Morrison said on Monday the world men’s No 1 had failed to comply with “the rules”, that to enter Australia that “you either have to be vaccinated or you have to have a valid medical exemption and show evidence of it”.
“It’s as simple as that,” the prime minister told 2GB radio. “This is about someone who sought to come to Australia and not comply with the entry rules at our border. That’s what this is about.”
Rules are rules, especially in Australia where you can’t ‘buy someone lunch’ and have the problem disappear.
Allow Seth to elaborate on why this irks him:
When we travel to any country, we’re very careful about that final visa form. If we tell a fib on that form, it is because there are rules against the contrary and we don’t want the truth to get us bounced.
Novak referred to the ‘human error’ that caused his team to fill out the wrong answer when asked ‘have you travelled to any other country in the last 14 days?’. He doesn’t realise that he’s not being deported because they chose the wrong answer – he’s been deported because the correct answer, along with his vaccine position, is not in line with Australia’s well-publicised rules.
So whether they did it on purpose or not, the fact remains that it is now clear that he does not comply with their rules.
The biggest questions we have, which I don’t see published anywhere, is…
A) were he and his team aware that he couldn’t be in another country within 14 days (of course they did – even we know of country’s restriction rules for travel and we don’t spend our lives travelling) and they still went and did it, with a plan to lie to Australia – or get away with it due to status or entitlement or B) did they not know? Which is impossoble and terribly embarrassing.
In cancelling Djokovic’s visa, Ozzie immigration minister Alex Hawke had argued that his presence in Australia “may pose a health risk to the Australian community” because it “may foster anti-vaccination sentiment”.
Several prominent Australian politicians have spent months spreading anti-vaccination messages, but Morrison said the difference is that “in Australia, if you’re an Australian, you’re a citizen, you’re resident and you’re a citizen, you can be here and you can express your views”.
Perhaps the wisest words come via Rafa Nadal, who called the whole situation a circus but added that “everybody is free to take their own decision – but there are some consequences, no?”
Yes, there are.
The tennis has finally started, by the way, with South Africa’s top singles hope and number 30 seed Lloyd Harris suffering a disappointing first-round loss to Australian wildcard entry Aleksandar Vukic.
Let’s focus on the tennis court and not the legal court, please.
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