Entry to Australia: Half a victory for Djokovic
Status: 10.01.2022 11:30 a.m.
Tennis star Djokovic has achieved success in court in the dispute over his entry to Australia: It is unclear whether he can play at the Australian Open. Because now the immigration minister could intervene.
By Holger Senzel, ARD Studio Singapore
Serbian flags, music, dance: the fans of Novak Dkokovic celebrate the trial victory of the world number one in front of the court in Melbourne. For them, the Serb is a hero of freedom: “He is a national hero – and that happens here when you attack a Serbian national hero. Therefore: Thanks to the court that restored freedom to Novak Djokovic. That is a victory for Djokovic. “
A slap in the face for the government?
Indeed, the ruling appears to be a slap in the face for the Australian government. Djokovic is to be released from the deportation hotel immediately, he gets his passport back and the state bears the costs of the proceedings. Right at the beginning of the process, Judge Antony Kelly was irritated by the treatment of the Serbs: In order to be able to enter the country unvaccinated in view of the strict Australian corona rules, he had been questioned by a state medical commission.
Because Djokovic had apparently only recently recovered from a Covid infection, the state of Victoria had given him a visa. That in turn was canceled by the border police of the central government because – as it was said – the conditions for entry were not met. “What else could the man have done,” the judge exclaimed – his tendency was clear early on in the hearing.
Tennis association chief avoids blame
Greg Tiley, the head of the Australian Tennis Association, avoided any triumph or blame after the verdict:
So there was a lot of conflicting information and confusion. We have spoken to all the relevant government agencies every week to make sure we are doing the right thing. We thought we were on the right track with the exemption, but of course we knew that there were problems because everyone has to be vaccinated. We moved in an environment where everything was constantly changing. I think that was a great challenge for everyone involved.
And now? How is it going on now? “I obviously want to see him play at the Australian Open,” says Tiley.
Ina Kast, NDR, with information on the verdict on Djokovic’s entry into Australia
tagesschau24 09:00 a.m., 10.1.2022
Participation in the Australian Open unclear
That, however, is still in the stars. Because even if Djokovic can now move freely – he cannot be sure of his visa for a long time. The verdict is one thing, but the immigration minister has the power to expel Djokovic anyway. This means that the tennis professional should no longer travel to Australia for three years. And that’s not just theory – the government attorney forcefully brought that option into play right after the trial today. “Very concerned,” said Judge Kelly about it.
The tug-of-war over Djokovic is far from over – and it is taking place in a heated atmosphere. Because the situation in Australia is tense due to extremely strict Corona rules, Melbourne has, taken together, the longest lockdown in the world behind it. Families were separated by the Corona rules and could not attend the births, weddings or funerals of their loved ones – those who refused to be vaccinated lost their jobs.
More than 90 percent of all Australians are now fully vaccinated – so please no extra sausage for tennis millionaires, that is the majority of the mood. At the same time, the Corona numbers are going through the roof again through Omikron in Australia. At the same time as Djokovic’s trial victory, the million mark for Covid infections was broken for the first time today.