Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Djokovic faces a possible 11th hour hearing on Sunday as lawyers denounce the ‘irrational’ visa annulment

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His visa was canceled for the second time on Friday for “health and order reasons”.

Novak Djokovic’s lawyers have asked an Australian court to stop the government from deporting the tennis star ahead of the Australian Open, saying the decision to cancel his visa was “manifestly irrational”.

The world no. 1 faces deportation and a possible three-year ban from Australia after the government canceled his visa for a second time.

At a hearing in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia late Friday night, his lawyers sought an injunction to prevent his deportation.

Nick Wood, representing Djokovic, said the decision to annul the Serbian player’s visa was “obviously irrational”.

He suggested that Djokovic’s visa was canceled on the grounds that his presence in the country could fuel anti-vaccination sentiment, not because he was unvaccinated.

Mr Wood said he would lodge an appeal by noon on Saturday and requested a hearing on Sunday, hours before the Australian Open was scheduled to start.

Steven Lloyd, acting on behalf of the Australian government, said authorities had no intention of detaining the tennis player overnight.

He is scheduled to take part in an interview with immigration officials at 8am on Saturday.

Just before 6pm (7am UK time) on Friday, Australia’s Immigration Minister Alex Hawke released a statement saying he had decided to send Djokovic home “for reasons of health and good order”.

This story will be updated

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