- Feb 25, 2024
- Sep 3, 2023
Novak Djokovic was in the eye of the storm when he was deported controversially from Australia ahead of the 2021 Australian Open. This happened because he was not vaccinated against Covid-19 and thus could not clinch his 10th title in Melbourne.
The 21-time grand slam winner went to Australia and assumed that it would all go smoothly, but his visa was retracted when he touched down in Australia which led to a huge standoff. Djokovic was even kept at an immigration facility.
The director of the Australian Open Craig Tiley revealed that they plan of having Djokovic again at the Australian Open next year. “We are on track to have all the top players back. We are at a different point in time now than we were nine months ago and I think it’s a very different environment with people travelling freely around the world,” he was quoted as saying in Planet Sport.
But it looks like Tiley will once again be receiving some flak, just as he did last year when his plans to have Djokovic compete in Melbourne were ultimately scrapped by politicians in the country. Tiley has landed himself in hot soup for that statement because he wanted to have Djokovic playing in Melbourne last year, but it did not materialize as unvaccinated people were not given entry into Australia.
Australia, at present, has decided to do away with vaccination status for international travellers. As for Djokovic, he was banned from entering Australian soil for three years after his visa was revoked and he was repatriated. In an interview with ABC Radio Australia’s Shadow Home, Affairs Minister Karen Andrews was against quashing Djokovic’s ban, and she said that the same rules should still apply. “I don’t think there is any reason it should be overturned simply because someone has a lot of money,” she said.
“So the government would clearly need to look at everyone else in these circumstances who would have had a visa cancellation and see whether or not they should be allowed into the country as well. It shouldn’t be one rule for Novak Djokovic and a different rule for everyone else who is not worth millions,” added Andrews.
“So if immigration now chooses to make a special allowance for Novak Djokovic the obvious question is what are they going to do about anyone else who may be in similar circumstances?” she asked. “It would be a slap in the face for those people in Australia who did the right thing if all of a sudden, Novak Djokovic is allowed back into the country, simply because he is a high-ranking tennis player with many millions of dollars.”