Sydney, Australia, Jan 17 (EFE).- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday that Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic could return to the country if “the right circumstances” are met, after he was expelled following the cancellation of his visa for not being vaccinated.
The world No. 1 was expelled within hours of losing a battle in Australian courts against the second cancellation of his Australian visa, a measure which under section 133c(3) of the Immigration Act prevents him from re-entering the country for three years, unless there are “exceptional circumstances.”
“It is a three-year period, but there is an opportunity for them to return in the right circumstances and that would be considered in due course,” Morrison told local station 2GB on Monday, adding that foreigners entering Australia must be vaccinated against Covid-19 or have a valid medical exemption.
Australian Interior Minister Karen Andrews said Djokovic’s return would not be an “easy or simple” process, although she opened the possibility for the ban to be “exempted in convincing circumstances,” if the 34-year-old tennis player provides considerable evidence.
“Mr. Djokovic is now subject to a three-year ban, which can be suspended in compelling circumstances, but that is not a question of today or tomorrow, but some time in the future,” Andrews told television network SkyNews.
Djokovic’s Australian journey, which became a media and political circus, began on Jan. 5 when the tennis player traveled to Melbourne with a medical exemption to participate in the Australian Open without being vaccinated, having recently been infected with Covid-19.
Upon arrival, immigration authorities canceled his visa and detained him until his release Jan. 10 by a court order, which considered he was treated unfairly. He was arrested again Saturday when the government decided to deport him last night after a court determined there were legal grounds for it.
The expulsion caused outrage in Djokovic’s native Serbia, which called it a “scandalous,” “witch hunt,” “Orwellian” style show and a “farce.” EFE