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Novak Djokovic Speaks Out After It's Confirmed He Will Be Deported

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Novak Djokovic Speaks Out After It's Confirmed He Will Be Deported

Novak Djokovic has spoken out about his deportation which means he will not be able to compete in the 2022 Australian Open.

The verdict from Chief Justice James Allsop came following a unanimous decision from the three judges hearing the case at the Federal Court of Australia on Sunday.

The decision means nine-time champion Djokovic will not be defending his title at the Australian Open, which starts on Monday, and is banned from Australia for three years – although that can be waived.

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy
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In a statement he said: "I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister's decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open.

"I respect the Court's ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.

"I am uncomfortable that the focus of the past weeks has been on me and I hope that we can all now focus on the game and tournament I love.

"I would like to wish the players, tournament officials, staff, volunteers and fans all the best for the tournament."

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He went on to add: "Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends, team, supporters, fans and my fellow Serbians for your continued support,' the player concluded. 

"You have all been a great source of strength to me."

Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke re-cancelled Djokovic’s visa on Friday using personal powers after the world number one had won an appeal against the initial decision to bar him from the country when he arrived last week.

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The ruling was based on the notion that his presence in the country could stoke anti-vaccination sentiment, making him a danger to public health, as well as civil unrest.

Nick Wood, acting for the Serbian, said: "Not a single line of evidence in the material provided any specific or logical foundation whatsoever that the mere presence of Mr Djokovic in Australia in itself may somehow foster anti-vaccination sentiment.”

Hawke’s lawyer Stephen Lloyd explained: "He’s a high-profile person who is in many respects a role model for many people. His presence in Australia would present more strongly to Australians his anti-vaccination views.

“People use high-level athletes to promote ideas and causes all the time. His connection to a cause, whether he wants it or not, is still present.”

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Sympathy for Djokovic has been in short supply from both the Australian public and his fellow players, many of whom were reluctant to get vaccinated but did so anyway.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: News, Sport

Rebecca Shepherd
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