Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison slammed Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic on Wednesday after the World No. 1 was denied admission to the nation owing to visa issues ahead of the Australian Open. Djokovic's visa was cancelled by the Australian authorities following his arrival in Melbourne, where the Australian Open is due to take place.
Djokovic is facing deportation from Australia. In response to the development, Morrison took to social media to blast Djokovic for failing to present adequate documentation to meet the entry requirements to Australia.
Morrison stated that the "rules" are the same for all, especially when it comes to the country's border. The 53-year-old added that Australia's strict border controls have been crucial in the country, which has one of the lowest COVID death rates in the world.
"Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant," Morrison said in his tweet.
Mr Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant.— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) January 5, 2022
As per reports, Djokovic is planning to launch legal action against his deportation orders. According to The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, Djokovic's lawyers are currently preparing to pursue a legal challenge against his visa cancellation orders.
The Australian Border Force issued a statement saying Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet entry requirements and 'his visa has been subsequently cancelled'.
Djokovic was granted a medical exemption by the Victorian state government so that he could take part in the upcoming Australian Open in an attempt to break the tie with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to win an unprecedented 21st Grand Slam title.
However, upon arriving in Melbourne on Wednesday, Djokovic was taken to the immigration room by the Australian Border Force and his visa was revoked. Australian media reported that Djokovic’s team had applied for the wrong type of visa for a person with a medical exemption.
Earlier, Morrison had said that Djokovic will have to prove why he deserves to be exempted from coronavirus vaccine upon his arrival in Australia and added, "If that evidence is insufficient, he won't be treated any differently than anyone else and he'll be on the next plane home."
Djokovic has previously declared his opposition to coronavirus vaccines and is reported to have kept his immunisation status a secret.