16th January, 2022
Tennis star, Novak Djokovic has said that he is extremely disappointed after his attempt to remain in Australia was denied.
Djokovic,34, appealed his visa cancellation which was heard by three judges at the Federal Court.
But they unanimously dismissed his case saying they were not convinced on the merits.
The tennis champion would miss the chance of competing for his 21st Grand Slam.
Djokovic said: “I respect the Court’s ruling and I will cooperate with the relevant authorities in relation to my departure from the country.”
“I will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this,” Djokovic said further.
“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,” he said.
“Finally, I would like to thank my family, friends, team, supporters, fans and my fellow Serbians for your continued support. You have all been a great source of strength to me.”
The decision likely means that Djokovic will remain in detention in Melbourne until he is deported.
The national federation that runs the tournament, Tennis Australia, said it respects the decision of the Federal Court.
“We look forward to a competitive and exciting Australian Open 2022 and wish all players the best of luck,” it said in a statement.
Deportation usually occurs as soon as possible after an order unless prevented by court action.
The government has not said when Djokovic will leave. A deportation order also usually includes a three-year ban on returning to Australia.
In Serbia, President Aleksandar Vucic said the hearing was “a farce with a lot of lies.”
“They think that they humiliated Djokovic with this 10-day harassment, and they actually humiliated themselves.
“If you said that the one who was not vaccinated has no right to enter, Novak would not come or would be vaccinated,” Vucic told reporters.
He said he told Djokovic after talking to him “that we can’t wait to see him in Serbia, to return to his country, to come where he is always welcome.”
He did not say whether Djokovic said he would first go to Serbia after his deportation.
Chief Justice James Allsop said the ruling came down to whether the minister’s decision was “irrational or legally unreasonable.”
Hawke welcomed the decision. His office did not immediately provide detail of how or when Djokovic would leave.
“Australia’s strong border protection policies have kept us safe during the pandemic, resulting in one of the lowest death rates, strongest economic recoveries, and highest vaccination rates in the world,” Hawke said.
“Strong border protection policies are also fundamental to safe-guarding Australia’s social cohesion which continues to strengthen despite the pandemic,” he added.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed what he described as the “decision to keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe.”
But opposition spokesperson on the home affairs portfolio, Kristina Keneally, said Djokovic was being deported for what he said and did publicly overseas before the government gave him a visa in November.
“This mess isn’t a failure of our laws. It’s a failure of Morrison’s competence & leadership,” Keneally tweeted.