Legal, political, sporting and diplomatic considerations will determine whether Novak Djokovic can pursue his 21st major title at the Australian Open.
The Serbian was provisionally included among those registered, but the saga around his visa and his refusal to be vaccinated has not ended. Its immediate future is in the hands of the immigration minister Australia’s Alex Hawke, who will decide whether to overturn a judge’s order that allowed the tennis player stay in the country or deport you.
The Australian tennis association (Tennis Australia) complained that regulations are unclear and constantly changing
Here’s a look at the situation:
How did you get to this point?
Australia requires a COVID-19 vaccine from all foreigners to enter the country. What is being decided is whether Djokovic had a valid exemption.
His lawyers say that since he caught COVID-19 in December, he can enter Australia. The Victorian state government and the organizers The Open approved the waiver, which apparently cleared the way for him to get a visa.
Government attorneys, however, argue that an infection exemption can be granted only when the virus caused serious disruption.
It is unclear why he was given a visa if that is so.
The Australian tennis association (Tennis Australia) complained that regulations are unclear and constantly changing.
The immigration service revoked Djokovic’s visa upon arrival and put him in a holding facility, with the intention of deporting him.
But tennis player He appealed the measure and a judge ruled in his favor on a technicality, saying Djokovic had not been given enough time to consult with his attorneys upon arrival.
What happens now?
The government is analyzing the original decision to give a visa to the tennis player. It will also take into account the fact that Djokovic’s application contained errors.
Then there was a current of solidarity with the Serbian, when he was held for four days and again when a court ruled in his favor
Djokovic admitted on social media on Wednesday that he wrongly said he had not traveled anywhere in the 14 days prior to his arrival in Australia. He attributed it to a “human error” of his collaborators and assured that it was not deliberate.
The interior minister has plenty of discretion and can revoke the visa and deport Djokovic based on health and ethical considerations, among others.
What happens if Djokovic’s visa is renewed?
The attorneys of the tennis player they will surely ask that the measure be suspended. The matter would go back to court and resolution could take time, giving Djokovic the opportunity to play the Open. In case of winning it, he would only be at the top of the table of tennis players with the most grand slam titles. He is currently tied with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, all with 20 titles.
His debut is scheduled for next week, against his compatriot Miomir Kexmanovic.
While the case is solved, Djokovic could be forced to remain in a detention center.
And if he were deported, he would not be able to apply for an Australian visa for three years. The Serbian is 34 years old, which means he may not have another chance to win the Australian Open.
Why didn’t you isolate yourself after being infected?
It is unclear if this will affect his visa, but Djokovic appeared in public after learning that his COVID-19 test had come back positive.
The player said that he decided not to suspend an interview with the French newspaper L’Equipe, but that he kept his distance from journalists and took off his mask just for a few photos. The journalist who interviewed him said that tests were carried out that were negative after the meeting. It is not known if the same happened to the photographer.
Leader Labor Party
Djokovic said he went ahead with the interview because “he did not want to defraud journalists,” but admitted it was a “mistake in judgment.”
He assured that, after the interview, he followed all the isolation protocols.
The public opinion of Australians fluctuates. Initially they thought that Djokovic was being given preferential treatment and was granted an exemption to the vaccine in a country where 91.3% of those eligible to be vaccinated have done so.
Then there was a current of solidarity with the Serb, when he was held for four days and again when a court ruled in his favor.
However, the latest revelations about his behavior in the midst of the pandemic may have sparked another wave of unrest.
The government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison approved the initial handling of the matter. He was being questioned about his decision to lift the COVID restrictions, which could have contributed to the spread of the omicron. And maybe he wanted to score points by being tough on the immigration issue. Now he says that he will let the process run its course.
But Anthony Albanese, leader of the opposition Labor Party, has harshly criticized the government.
“All of this has been bad for Australia’s reputation, as far as our competition is concerned. It’s extraordinary that we still don’t know what the final decision will be, ”said Albanese. “That decision should have been made before the visa was granted. Either it was enabled or not ”.