'No special rules for Novak Djokovic', says Australian Prime Minister
We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info
Novak Djokovic is isolated in a room and not allowed to use his mobile phone as he waits to learn whether or not he will be allowed into Australia, according to reports. The world No 1 flew into the country on Wednesday ahead of the Australian Open beginning on January 17 but authorities noticed there was a mistake on his visa application and have yet to grant him permission to enter the country with the state government confirming they are not supporting his application.
It is currently up in the air whether or not the 20-time Grand Slam champion will be allowed to play in the Australian Open, the first Grand Slam of 2022, later this month.
He is the defending champion after winning the event for a record-extending ninth time in 2021.
Serbian outlet Sportklub reported that at 4am local time, Djokovic is currently being kept alone in a room in which he is not allowed to use his phone. He has not yet been allowed through passport control.
The 34-year-old was questioned by officials at an airport in Melbourne after a member of his support team requested a visa that does not permit medical exemptions for being unvaccinated.
The error was only noticed while Djokovic was already in the air and en route to the country.
DON’T MISS: Novak Djokovic accused of ‘laughing in the face of Victorians’ by ace
Victoria’s acting sports minister Jaala Pulford said on Twitter: “The Federal Government has asked if we will support Novak Djokovic’s visa application to enter Australia.
“We will not be providing Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.
“We’ve always been clear on two points: visa approvals are a matter for the Federal Government, and medical exemptions are a matter for doctors.”
Travellers, including elite sportspeople, entering the state of Victoria must be fully vaccinated and the decision to grant Djokovic a medical exemption to play in the tournament has been heavily criticised.
The Serbian confirmed on Tuesday morning that he had been given permission to play Down Under despite the country’s vaccination requirements, with over 90 per cent of the over-16 population having been double jabbed.
MUST READ: Nadal’s uncle piles pressure on Djokovic after Aussie Open exemption
He has never confirmed whether or not he is vaccinated against Covid but has previously been critical of the demands for players to be double-jabbed.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has threatened to send Djokovic “on the next plane home” if he is unable to prove he has a legitimate reason for a medical exemption to play the Slam.
He said: “Any individual seeking to enter Australia must comply with our border requirements.
“He has to because if he’s not vaccinated, he must provide acceptable proof that he cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and to be able to access the same travel arrangements, as fully vaccinated travellers.
“So we await his presentation and what evidence he provides to support that. If that evidence is insufficient, then he won’t be treated any different to anyone else and he’ll be on the next plane home.”
“There should be no special rules for Novak Djokovic at all, none whatsoever.”
Australia only opened its borders for the first time since the start of the pandemic in November, which was the first time they opened in 20 months.
Tournament director and CEO of Tennis Australia Craig Tiley had suggested recently it would help if Djokovic came out and addressed the situation himself.
He explained: “We completely understand and empathise that some would have been upset by the fact that Novak Djokovic has come in because of his statements around vaccination in the past couple of years.
“We would love…Novak to talk about it and help us with it, but ultimately it’s going to be up to him. We aren’t in a position, even legally, to disclose other people’s medical information.”
There are 26 unvaccinated players who applied for exemption but Tiley revealed that only a “handful” had been given permission to play.
Source: Read Full Article