Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke said on Friday that he had revoked the entry visa of Serbian tennis star Novak Djokovic again after a court overturned the cancellation earlier this week.
“Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds, on the basis that it was in the public interest to do so,” Hawke said in a statement, as quoted by the ABC News broadcaster.
The minister said the decision was made in public interest and to deter other unvaccinated arrivals, according to ABC news. Hawke noted that the government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison “is firmly committed to protecting Australia’s borders, particularly in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the report.
Morrison himself praised the decision, saying it was a way of protecting the “sacrifices” Australians had made during the pandemic, the news said.
The visa cancellation is likely to result in the player’s deportation from Australia and a three-year ban on entry into the country. Djokovic reportedly will not be sent back to the detention center he was kept at since his arrival in Melbourne until another interview with the immigration authorities, scheduled for Saturday.
The lawyers of the tennis star are currently negotiating with the Australian government and preparing an appeal.
Local media reported that protesters began to gather in front of the immigration detention center in Melbourne to support Djokovic.