Novak Djokovic receives first negative signals as Australian Open ban remains unclear

Novak Djokovic is waiting to learn whether his ban from Australia will be lifted

Novak Djokovic is waiting to learn whether his ban from Australia will be lifted (Image: Getty)

has received his first negative signs as he waits to learn whether his three-year ban from entering Australia will be lifted. The world No 7 was deported from the country at the start of this year, earning him an automatic three-year ban from returning, and a politician has now claimed that the immigration system must “be protected” in a hint that Djokoic may not have his ban removed.

Djokovic had his visa cancelled twice when he first arrived in Australia nine months ago as a result of his unvaccinated status, with the jab required for all people entering the country. He successfully appealed the first time but had it rejected the second time because his presence could “excite anti-vax sentiment”.

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While travellers no longer need to be vaccinated to enter Australia, the 35-year-old has automatically been banned from returning to the country until 2025 as a result of having his visa revoked. Djokovic is now waiting to learn whether the ban will be lifted so he can play the Australian Open in three months’ time.

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But he has now received the first signs that things may not go as hoped, as Australian politician Dan Tehan admitted that the country’s immigration system needed to be protected even though he wanted to see Djokovic playing again. “As a tennis lover, I’d love to see him there,” he told Sky News Australia.

 

Dan Tehan wanted Australia's immigration system to be

Dan Tehan wanted Australia’s immigration system to be “protected” (Image: Getty)

“But the most important thing here is that we protect the integrity of our immigration system.” The former Tourism Minister admitted that Djokovic would be able to return despite being unvaccinated but didn’t want the country’s systems to be compromised if his visa ban was lifted.

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Tehan continued: “The rules about coming into Australia have changed, you don’t have to be vaccinated anymore. If they decide that he can come, they’ve got to do so in making that decision in a way to protect the integrity of our immigration system.”

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Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia in January

Novak Djokovic was deported from Australia in January (Image: Getty)

The government in Australia has changed since January, with Tehan part of the former party that was in power when Djokovic’s visa was first cancelled, and he defended their decision to deport him in the first place. “It was the right decision because there were requirements that needed to be met for him to enter the country,” he added.

Tehan’s words also came after the Home Affairs Minister “(Why should) Novak Djokovic be allowed back into the country simply because he’s a high-ranking tennis player with many millions of dollars? It shouldn’t be just one rule for (him) and a different rule for everyone else,” Karen Andrews told ABC Radio on Monday.

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