Status: 01/15/2022 05:39 a.m
The Australian Open will start in less than 48 hours – and the cause of Djokovic has still not been clarified. The tennis star is back in custody – the decision on whether he can stay in the country should be made tomorrow.
Novak Djokovic is again stuck in the deportation hotel in Melbourne’s Carlton district. Photographers and camera crews are waiting on the street. TV pictures show the black roller grille door in front of the underground car park. “Free them all,” someone wrote on the wall of the house, because the accommodation also accommodates refugees – some of them for years.
The tennis world number one – a court decided yesterday – may only leave the hotel for talks with his lawyers and for his hearing. On Sunday, Australia’s federal court will finally decide whether he can stay in the country and play at the Australian Open, which begins on Monday.
The mood in the country is pretty clear
Citizens across the country were asked yesterday by television stations how they judge the Djokovic case – and for most the matter is clear:
The minister is 100 percent right to cancel the visa. Just because he’s a famous tennis player and a rich white man should he get a visa here? That would be absolutely unfair – when at the same time people are losing their jobs here and we are having such a difficult time.
We’ve been through 18 really tough months here. And what are the rules for if they don’t apply to everyone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a superstar, a tennis player or a rock musician – there can’t be any differences. If you don’t follow the rules, you’re out of here, simple as that.
They should have sent him home sooner. It was a tough time for all of us here – and it was a slap in the face for someone to come along who isn’t vaccinated and to whom the rules shouldn’t apply. I’m happy we’re getting rid of him.
Opposition speaks of debacle
The fact that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke took so much time with the decision was widely criticized – opposition leader Anthony Albanese even speaks of a debacle: “The government did nothing and a problem turned into a crisis. It’s an international embarrassment for Australia. “
Minister Hawke, on the other hand, said he didn’t want to make any mistakes and checked all the facts carefully. He may also want to give Djokovic as little time as possible to react before the Australian Open opener on Monday. “Well founded and in the public interest,” Hawke says of his decision.
Djokovic’s lawyers see it differently, they speak of an irrational decision. The tennis pro had to serve as a scapegoat for all unvaccinated people, they argue.
A three-year entry ban threatens
Djokovic is a self-confessed opponent of vaccination. He therefore wanted to enter Australia with a special permit, which he justified with a surviving Covid infection. However, there were inconsistencies with the PCR test from December last year, and he had also given false information on the entry form.
The Serb has already won the Australian Open nine times – with his tenth win this year, he wanted to make tennis history as the most successful player of all time. But if the court decides against his appeal, he will soon be on a plane home and not allowed to travel to Australia for the next three years.