Australia has revoked tennis star, Novak Djokovic’s visa for a second time in a row over his right to remain in the country unvaccinated.
The country’s Immigration Minister, Alex Hawke’s decision on “health and good order” grounds means that Djokovic could be deported.
However, the 34-year-old Serbian can still launch another legal challenge to remain in Australia.
The Men’s Tennis number one was scheduled to play in the Australian Open, which begins on Monday.
Minister Hawke said in a statement: “Today I exercised my power 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.”
The move also means that Djokovic likely faces a three-year ban on obtaining a new Australian visa, although this can be waived.
The nine-time Australian Open winner was hoping to defend his title next week, which if he won, would make him the most successful male tennis player in history with a record 21 Grand Slam titles.
Djokovic’s visa was first revoked shortly after his arrival in Melbourne on 6th January, after Australian border Force officials said that he had “failed to provide appropriate evidence” to receive a vaccine exemption.
There was also an enormous backlash from some Australians, who have lived under long and strict COVID-10 lockdowns, that Djokovic had been allowed into the country despite being unvaccinated.
He was detained for hours at Melbourne airport’s immigration control, and then spent days at an immigration hotel. Days later his visa was reinstated by a judge, who ordered his release, ruling that border officials ignored correct procedure when he arrived.
But today in Melbourne, Minister Hawke cancelled Djokovic’s visa under separate powers in Australia’s Migration Act.