Novak Djokovic news LIVE: Tennis star fights deportation from Australia over vaccine row

Novak Djokovic faces deportation from Australia after his visa was revoked at a Melbourne airport on Thursday. The men’s tennis world No1 had claimed he had a medical exemption from being vaccinated against Covid-19 and had hoped this would allow him to circumnavigate Australia’s strict rules on entering the country.

However, the Australian Border Force said in a statement that Djokovic “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.” It added: “Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia.”

The incident has sparked an international diplomatic row, with Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic writing on Instagram: “In line with all norms of international law, Serbia will fight for Novak, truth and justice.” Later the Australian prime minister Scott Morrison tweeted: “Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders.”

Djokovic, who was left stranded at Melbourne’s Tullamanrien airport overnight, filed an injunction to prevent his deportation. Follow all the latest news below.

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Why was Djokovic initially granted an exemption and were there other players with one?

The state government for Victoria, where Melbourne Park is located, mandated full vaccinations for all players, staff and fans at the Australian Open unless there is a genuine medical reason.

Victoria state Deputy Premier James Merlino said medical exemptions would not be “a loophole for privileged tennis players” and would only be possible in “exceptional circumstances if you have an acute medical condition.”

Tennis Australia said Djokovic’s request for an exemption “was granted following a rigorous review process involving two separate independent panels of medical experts.” Neither Tennis Australia nor Djokovic revealed the reason he sought an exemption. Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said a total of 26 players or support staff applied for exemptions and a “handful” were granted.

Among the acceptable grounds were acute major medical conditions, serious adverse reaction to a previous dose of a COVID-19 vaccine or evidence of a COVID-19 infection within the previous six months.

Why was Novak Djokovic not let into Australia?

When Djokovic landed at the airport, the Australian Border Force canceled Djokovic’s visa, saying he “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted, “No one is above these rules,” and later said at a news conference that Djokovic’s exemption wasn’t valid but did not explain the details.

Novak Djokovic news

Novak Djokovic faces deportation from Australia after his visa was revoked at a Melbourne airport on Thursday. The men’s tennis world No1 had claimed he had a medical exemption from being vaccinated against Covid-19 and had hoped this would allow him to circumnavigate Australia’s strict rules on entering the country.

However, the Australian Border Force said in a statement that Djokovic “failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.” It added: “Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia.”

The incident has sparked an international diplomatic row, with Serbian president Aleksandar Vucic writing on Instagram: “In line with all norms of international law, Serbia will fight for Novak, truth and justice.” Djokovic, who was left stranded at Melbourne’s Tullamanrien airport overnight, filed an injunction to prevent his deportation.

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