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Novak Djokovic Gets Held At Melbourne Airport Over Visa 'Mistake' Issue

Stewart Perrie


Novak Djokovic Gets Held At Melbourne Airport Over Visa 'Mistake' Issue

Novak Djokovic has been held up after arriving into Melbourne close to midnight.

The world number one tennis player sparked a huge amount of backlash after it was revealed he had received a medical exemption to compete in this month's Australian Open.

The Serbian star has notoriously kept his Covid-19 vaccination status private and he managed to get approval from Victorian and Tennis Australia officials to play in the Grand Slam.

However, it's since been revealed that after touching down at Melbourne's Tullamarine Airport at 11:30pm last night, he's been held by authorities who were questioning his paperwork.

Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: PA Images/Alamy Stock Photo

News Corp reports Djokovic's father Srdjan told a radio station back in Serbia that Novak was being questioned without his entourage or his phone.

"Novak is currently in a room which no one can enter. In front of the room are two policemen," he explained to the B92 internet portal.

The tennis star's coach, Goran Ivanisevic, posted a photo of the team waiting to hear news of whether they'll be allowed in.

The Age reports the 20-time Grand Slam winner was being asked to provide documentation for his medical exemption.

A federal government source told the Victorian newspaper that Djokovic needed to supply the medical evidence that backed up why he should receive an exemption to enter the country without being vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Victorian state government also revealed late last night that it would reject Djokovic's application because of a mistake in the visa.

It's reported that the working visa that Djokovic was entering Australia on doesn't allow for medical exemptions.

Acting Sports and Major Events Minister Jaala Pulford said the tennis player no longer had the support of the state government.

"The Federal Government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic's visa application to enter Australia," she said.

"We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.

"We've always been clear on two points: visa approvals are a matter for the Federal Government, and medical exemptions a matter for doctors."

The Australian government has warned Novak will be put on the first plane out of Australia if he can't prove why he should have been granted a medical exemption.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: "We await his presentation and what evidence he provides us to support that.

"If that evidence is insufficient, then he won't be treated any different to anyone else and he'll be on the next plane home.

"There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all. None whatsoever."

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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