“Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled”
Novak Djokovic was denied entry into Australia and had his visa canceled after arriving in Melbourne late on Wednesday to defend his title at the season-opening tennis major.
The Australian Border Force issued a statement early on Thursday, saying Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet entry requirements and “has visa has been subsequently canceled."
"Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled," the statement said.
The top-ranked Djokovic flew in after receiving a medical exemption from the strict vaccination requirements in place for the Australian Open, where he is a nine-time winner.
Australian media reported that Djokovic’s team had applied for the wrong type of visa.
The medical exemption had been been expected to allow him to play regardless of his vaccination status for COVID-19, something he has not disclosed, but he also needed to meet strict border regulations to enter the country.
Serbian president blasts Australia’s ‘maltreatment’ of Djokovic
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Instagram that he spoke with Djokovic over the phone and told him that "the whole of Serbia is with him and that our authorities are undertaking all measures in order that maltreatment of the world’s best tennis player ends as soon as possible".
"In line with all standards of international public law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, justice and truth. Otherwise, Novak is strong, as we all know him," the Serbian leader said.
Earlier on Wednesday, Djokovic’s father said his son was "held captive for five hours" at Melbourne airport where he had arrived to take part in this month’s Australian Open where he is the nine-time champion.
"I have no idea what is going on," Srdjan Djokovic told Sputnik Serbia media outlet.
"This is a fight for a libertarian world, this is not just a fight for Novak, but a fight for the whole world."
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