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JUST IN: Novak Djokovic Loses Appeal Over Australian Visa, Faces Deportation

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Novak Djokovic is set to learn his fate after a key court hearing was held on Sunday morning. The world number one’s visa was cancelled by the Australian immigration minister Alex Hawke on Friday for a second time. An appeal was immediately launched against the decision, calling it “patently irrational” and claiming Hawke’s decision was based purely on the government’s fear that Djokovic’s appearance at the Australian Open, which begins on Monday, might stir anti-vaccine sentiment in the country.

If his expensively compiled legal team win the appeal, Djokovic will take on fellow Serbian Miomir Kecmanovic in the first round on Monday evening, where he is expected to get a hostile reception from the crowd. If the government wins its case, Djokovic will be deported from the country.

It emerged on Friday that Hawke based his finding not on the validity or otherwise of Djokovic’s medical exemption but on the potential for his continued presence in the country to stoke anti-vaccination sentiments and a threat to public order. Hawke cited Djokovic’s status as a “high profile unvaccinated individual, who has indicated publicly that he is opposed to becoming vaccinated against Covid” and said he had “publicly expressed anti-vaccination sentiment”.

Djokovic to be deported
Novak Djokovic will be deported from Australia ahead of the Australian Open after the full federal court dismissed world No 1’s bid to restore his visa.

On Sunday the court upheld the decision of the Australian immigration minister, Alex Hawke, to cancel the visa on the basis Djokovic’s presence in Australia might risk “civil unrest” as he is a “talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment”.

The chief justice, James Allsop, announced the court unanimously dismissed Djokovic’s application, with costs, but explained the decision of the court did not reflect on “ the merits or wisdom of the decision”. Full reasons will follow at a later date.

The Independent, The Guardian

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