MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Tennis star Novak Djokovic again faced possible deportation from Australia on Friday after the government revoked his visa a second time.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke announced that he used ministerial power to cancel the 34-year-old Serbian’s visa for reasons of public interest three days after the start of the Australian Open.
The world’s No. 1 attorneys are expected to appeal the decision to the Federal Circuit and Family Court, as they already did successfully after the first cancellation.
This is the second time Djokovic’s permission has been refused since arriving in Melbourne last week to defend his Australian Open title.
The government of the state of Victoria, where Melbourne, the venue of the tournament is located, and Tennis Australia, the organizer of the first major of the year, approved an exemption to the requirement to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order for him to compete. This, apparently, allowed him to receive a visa to travel.
But the Australian Border Force rejected the waiver and canceled the permit upon arrival at the city’s airport. The Serb spent four nights in a migrant detention hotel before a lawyer reconciled with the decision on Monday.