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Support builds for Djokovic as his family SLAMS Australian PM

World's best tennis player still fighting for his chance to stay and compete in Australian Open

Support builds for Djokovic as his family SLAMS Australian PM
World's Best: Novak Djokovic
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Novak Djokovic’s family held a press conference in Belgrade to address their son’s detention and pending deportation from Australia.

Australian Border Force rejected Djokovic’s visa application despite the Men’s World Number One ATP tennis star and defending Australian Open champion being granted a medical exemption to compete. Other players, granted the same exemption, were allowed into the country to compete.

Our Novak, our pride,” said Djokovic’s father. “Novak is Serbia and Serbia is Novak. They are trampling over Serbia and by doing that, they are trampling over the Serbian people.

The leader of that faraway land, Scott Morrison … dared to attack Novak and expel him before he had reached their country. They had wanted to throw him to his knees, and not just him, but our beautiful Serbia.

We Serbs are a proud European people. Throughout history, we have never attacked anyone, we only defended ourselves. That is what Novak, our pride, our Serb, the pride of the entire free world, is now doing by his behaviour towards hosts and [tennis tournament] organisers across the world, showing what kind of people he comes from.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press conference on Thursday, confirming Australia’s tough stance on entry. He went so far as to accuse the champion tennis player of trying to ‘run the border’ despite Djokovic’s arrival and participation in the Australian Open being the subject of rigorous discussion over many months.

I am advised that such an exemption was not in place, and as a result he [Djokovic] is subject to the same rule as anyone else. People try to run the border all the time. People come with a visa that may not satisfy other requirements for entry – and they are put back on planes and turned back all the time,” said Morrison.

I also want to stress, that ultimately, this is the responsibility of the traveller. It is for the traveller to be able to assert and backup their ability to come into the country consistent with our laws.”

Consistency of the law is something that is being questioned, given that Djokovic was cleared by a blind medical panel to play. Are there consistent standards of health regulation between the state and federal government? Even if there isn’t, considering high profile nature of Djokovic’s arrival – why didn’t anyone from the Australian government ask about Djokovic’s visa before allowing him to be put through Victoria’s medical review?

If it is true that Djokovic’s team applied for a visa that does not allow medical exemptions, why wasn’t it clarified or checked by Tennis Australia? There are reportedly other tennis players already in Victoria under similar exemptions that have not been dragged through the press by Australia’s politicians.

He [Novak] had the same document as several tennis players who are already in Australia,” said Djokovic’s brother. “Novak and his team had no way of contacting federal authorities. The only way to make contact was via Tennis Australia, as they have a partner relationship with the authorities. Novak didn’t apply, Tennis Australia did.”

Is this inconsistency or incompetency on behalf of Australia? It is no wonder the whole mess is during into a diplomatic incident.

Then, Victorian Opposition Leader and Liberal Matthew Guy went on 3AW, adding fuel to the fire by saying, “If there are kids being booted off junior footy because they're not vaccinated, well why then at a state government facility like Melbourne Park are we inviting major tennis players who are not vaccinated?”

Djokovic is being detained in a Melbourne hotel room over the week as support and his chances of playing in the tournament continue to grow.

Leading Melbourne lawyer Justin Quill has suggested that it's likely that the Serbian champion will take to the court to contest in the Australian Open.

Quill said on 3AW that he expects that he expects an interlocutory injunction will be granted to Djokovic, allowing him to play.

I suspect the judge is going to say ‘I’m going to grant an interlocutory injunction, so basically a temporary injunction, stopping the deportation, and then I’m going to hear this case properly,” he said.

The wheels of justice don’t turn quickly, we know that."

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  • By Avi Yemini

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  • By Avi Yemini

PETITION: Let Novak Play

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