Djokovic stuck at the airport, waiting for Australian government visa decision

Melbourne — Novak Djokovic stuck overnight at an Australian airport and was caught up in a political storm about whether to respect the world’s best medical exemption from visa requirements or send him home for a visa blunder. rice field.

Djokovic, who is aiming for a record 21st Grand Slam victory at the Australian Open, landed at Melbourne’s Tullamarine Airport around 11:30 pm local time after a 14-hour flight from Dubai.

However, he was still waiting for permission to enter the country early Thursday morning after it was revealed that his team had applied for a visa that would not allow medical exemptions.

As a result, the Victorian government, the open state, said it did not support Djokovic’s application and put his fate in the hands of the federal government and Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Djokovic’s father, Suljan, told Serbian media that his son was waiting alone in an airport room under armed security to make the final decision on whether he could enter the country.

“It’s not the most common trip from Downunder,” commented Goran Ivanisevic, next to Instagram selfie from the airport lounge, with a palm of his face and a heart-throbbing pictogram.

Morrison faces a backlash against his government’s decision to grant Djokovic a medical exemption from vaccination to play at the British Open, to the left of Victoria, led by Prime Minister’s conservative administration and Prime Minister Dan Andrews. It led to a pointing with the state government.

Australia, especially Victoria, has endured the longest cumulative blockage in the world.

In response to the backlash, Morrison suggested that Djokovic’s participation was not a completed transaction and that the federal government, which was responsible for borders and visas and was not part of the exemption process, needed to be satisfied.

Morrison said there were “no special rules” for his exemption shortly before Djokovic arrived.

“If the evidence is inadequate, he will not be treated like anyone else and he will be at the next plane’s house,” Morrison told the media conference earlier.

Visa bangle

Djokovic entered the country on an Emirates flight, but when border authorities contacted the Victoria State Government and asked if the state would formally support the world’s best visa, he said it wasn’t.

“The federal government asked if we would support Novak Djokovic’s visa application to enter Australia,” said Yarra Pulford, Deputy Minister of Sport in Victoria.

“We will not provide Novak Djokovic with individual visa application support to participate in the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.

“We have always clarified two things. Visa approval is a federal issue and medical exemption is a doctor’s issue.”

It was not clear whether the federal government would allow him to enter. Border forces did not respond to requests for comment.

Tennis Australia and government officials have emphasized that Djokovic had not received any incentives.