Serbia says Australia’s decision to deport Djokovic ‘scandalous’


BELGRADE (Reuters) – Serbia’s premier on Sunday denounced as “scandalous” Australia’s decision to deport tennis famous person Novak Djokovic over his decision not to be vaccinated in opposition to COVID-19, and the Serbian president stated he would at all times be welcome in his homeland.

A unanimous ruling by a three-judge bench rejecting Djokovic’s attraction in opposition to the cancellation of his visa dealt a ultimate blow to his hopes of chasing a file twenty first Grand Slam win on the Australian Open.

“I believe the court docket decision is scandalous…I discover it unbelievable that we have now two utterly contradictory court docket choices inside the span of only a few days,” Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic advised reporters in Belgrade.

“I’m disillusioned…I believe it demonstrated how the rule of regulation is functioning or higher to say not functioning in another international locations. In any case, I can hardly wait to see Novak Djokovic in our personal nation, in Serbia.”

Djokovic, 34, boarded an Emirates flight in Melbourne certain for Dubai on Sunday night, a Reuters journalist reported, after saying in a quick assertion that he was extraordinarily disillusioned by the court docket ruling and would respect it.

Djokovic, the world’s high males’s tennis participant, was first detained by Australian immigration authorities on Jan. 6, ordered launched by a court docket on Jan. 10 after which detained once more on Saturday, after Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke used discretionary powers to cancel his visa.

The three-judge Federal Court panel upheld Hawke’s decision, which cited grounds that Djokovic might put up a menace to public order as a result of his presence would encourage anti-vaccination sentiment amidst Australia’s worst outbreak of the virus.

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic stated he had spoken to Djokovic after the court docket decision. “I advised him he’s at all times welcome in Serbia,” Vucic advised reporters.

The Serbian Tennis Association (TSS) stated the “farce is over” and “politics has overwhelmed sports activities” with Australia’s decision to deport Djokovic, who has received the Australian Open 9 occasions.

“Novak Djokovic…has been denied a possibility to win a milestone tenth title (in Australia). Political strain has led to the revocation of his visa to fulfill ‘public interest’,” the TSS stated in an announcement.

“…It begs the query whether or not athletes will any more be incarcerated like criminals and deported when it fits the political pursuits of highly effective people,” it stated.

In the Serbian capital Belgrade, Djokovic’s hometown, many help him although some felt he ought to have been vaccinated.

“I believe Australia must be ashamed of itself and that the decision was not a only one. I’m sorry for Novak as a tennis participant and as an individual,” stated Danilo Mircic, a pupil.

“If I have been him, I might get vaccinated and keep away from issues sooner or later,” stated Aleksandar Janjic, a middle-aged laptop programmer.

(Reporting by Ivana Sekularac, Aleksandar Vasovic and Zoran Milosavljevic; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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