Fri, 14 Jan 2022 12:36 PM IST
Melbourne | Jagran Sports Desk: World No.1 tennis player Novak Djokovic's Australian visa was on Friday cancelled for the second time. The Australian government said that Djokovic, who is unvaccinated, may pose a risk to the community.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used discretionary powers to again cancel Djokovic's visa, after a court quashed an earlier revocation and released him from immigration detention on Monday.
"Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so," Hawke said in a statement.
The government "is firmly committed to protecting Australia's borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic," Hawke said. He added that he had "carefully considered" information from Djokovic, the Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force.
Under the section of the Migration Act which the minister used to exercise his power to cancel the visa, Djokovic would not be able to secure a visa to come to Australia for three years, except in compelling circumstances that affect Australia's interest.
Djokovic now faces deportation again and a ban of three years from entering Australia following the Australian government's move.
Djokovic's lawyers are expected to appeal the cancelation in the Federal Circuit and Family Court as they successfully did after the first cancellation.
Djokovic, the Australian Open defending champion, was on Thursday included in the draw on Thursday as top seed and was due to face fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic for his opening match, probably on Monday or Tuesday.
It is the second time Djokovic's visa has been canceled since he arrived in Melbourne last week to defend his Australian Open title.
His exemption from a COVID-19 vaccination requirement to compete was approved by the Victoria state government and Tennis Australia, the tournament organiser. That apparently allowed him to receive a visa to travel.
But the Australian Border Force rejected the exemption and canceled his visa upon arrival in Melbourne. He spent four nights in hotel detention before a judge on Monday overturned that decision.