Serbians Angry with Australia’s Cancelation of Novak Djokovic’s Visa — Again

by 24USATVJan. 14, 2022, 10:50 p.m. 19

“For Serbs, Australia no longer exists.” Serbians are angry that Australia canceled Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time, reversing a court decision that temporarily thwarted the federal government’s bid to deport the unvaccinated tennis star. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke exercised special powers to override the court ruling, just days before the world men’s No. 1 is due to vie for a record 21st Grand Slam victory at the Australian Open. The visa was revoked on health and good order grounds and on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so, he said in a statement Friday. “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement following the decision. “Our strong border protection policies have kept Australians safe.” Morrison said he wouldn’t comment further on the cancellation due to expected ongoing legal proceedings. At a hearing on Friday, Djokovic’s lawyers submitted a request that the athlete not be detained before appearing before border officials Saturday, after which he would enter detention until a hearing as soon as Sunday. Judge Anthony Kelly granted the request later Friday. A last-minute request to relocate Djokovic’s detention to avoid a media frenzy triggered a barbed response from the judge. “I will not be a party to or in any way inveigled into the very real possibility of a media circus,” Kelly said, before allowing the detention location to be agreed on later. The scandal around the Serbian star took on geopolitical dimensions. Serbia’s president, Aleksandar Vucic, issued a statement on Instagram to address “attacks and pressure against Novak Djokovic and Serbians.” The Balkan leader questioned the rule of law in Australia. “If you wanted to ban Novak Djokovic from winning the trophy in Melbourne for the 10th time, why didn’t you send him back immediately, why didn’t you tell him that it’s impossible to get a visa for your country?” Vucic asked. Djokovic was entered into the Australian Open on Thursday despite lingering doubts over his ability to play, with the number one seed due to face fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in his first match. Subscribe to our YouTube channel: Subscribe to our newest channel Quicktake Explained: Bloomberg Quicktake brings you live global news and original shows spanning business, technology, politics and culture. Make sense of the stories changing your business and your world. To watch complete coverage on Bloomberg Quicktake 24/7, visit, or watch on Apple TV, Roku, Samsung Smart TV, Fire TV and Android TV on the Bloomberg app. Have a story to tell? Fill out this survey for a chance to have it featured on Bloomberg Quicktake: Connect with us on… YouTube: Breaking News on YouTube: Twitter: Facebook: Instagram:


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