Novak Djokovic will be deported from Australia and will not take part in the Australian Open, marking the culmination of an outrageous saga that has plagued world tennis and ridiculed the Australian government.
After weeks of miscommunication between state and federal governments and divided public opinion, the federal court this morning upheld Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to cancel the tennis world number one’s visa.
Djokovic last week won an appeal to have the original decision to boot him from Melbourne overturned in a Victorian court.
But the Immigration Minister – who is now being referred to as ‘Hawke-Eye’ – made a stunning executive decision to rip up the Serb’s visa on Friday, a move which was subsequently upheld by judges this morning.
The tennis star will now be forced onto a plane and escorted swiftly out of the country, and will also have to cover the costs of all legal fees associated with the case.
As the final nail was hammered into the Djoker’s coffin, social media exploded with memes as people on both sides of the argument reacted to the conclusion of what has been a truly divisive debacle.
Novak Djokovic will be deported from Australia and will not take part in the Australian Open after his lawyers failed to convince three senior judges of his right to stay in Melbourne (Djokovic pictured November 2021)
Djokovic was briefly permitted to leave his detention hotel to view the court case from his lawyer’s office earlier today, but will now be forced onto a plane and swiftly deported
Novak Djokovic’s high-powered legal team, led by Nick Wood in the centre, have lost in their attempt to have the tennis ace play in the Australian Open
Some have accused the Australian government of using the tennis player as a political pawn to legitimise its extremely restrictive and unpopular coronavirus policies.
The unvaxxed tennis star, who was in possession of a medical exemption, was initially granted a visa and allowed into the country despite suspicions that his exemption and the details of his whereabouts in the weeks prior to the tournament were not legitimate.
But many argued that the world number one posed no danger, having recently recovered from Covid and therefore been imbued with natural immunity alongside his already elite level physical health.
Others meanwhile argued that Djokovic’s status as a world-class athlete on the cup of becoming the man with the most grand slam titles ever should not mean that he gets to bypass Australia’s exceptionally stringent coronavirus rules.
In the state of Victoria where the Australian Open takes place, Covid measures stipulate that only fully vaccinated people can attend most public venues, with the unvaccinated severely restricted from public life.
The federal court’s verdict this morning to uphold Hawke-Eye’s decision to tear up the world number one’s visa sent social media into raptures.
Many of the memes poked fun at the situation overall and did not take a specific side, while others made their allegiances clear.
Immigration Minister Alex Hawke – who is now being referred to as ‘Hawke-Eye’ – made a stunning executive decision to rip up the Serb’s visa on Friday, a move which was subsequently upheld by judges this morning
Rafael Nadal, who is tied with both Djokovic and Roger Federer for the men’s grand slam titles record, said the Australian Open will be great with or without Djokovic. Many believe Nadal has a great chance to take the lead at this year’s Open with the exit of Djokovic
Djokovic was held for 6 days last week at a migrant detention centre in Melbourne, and was subsequently being held under supervision in the Park Hotel
Many social media users poked fun at the situation with Djokovic awaiting imminent deportation
Debate has raged over the decision of the court to axe Djokovic’s visa, with some accusing the government of using the tennis star as a political pawn to legitimise its extremely strict coronavirus restrictions
Some social media users made their allegiances clear and were happy to see Djokovic go
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal are both tied with Djokovic on 20 men’s grand slam titles
The fresh salvo of memes follows a torrent of internet fun and games early this week after the initial decision to invalidate the Serb’s visa was overruled.
Last week, Djokovic’s visa was revoked and he was transported to a ‘torturous’ migrant detention centre to await deportation after much miscommunication between state and federal government.
Then a judge in Victoria earlier this week overturned the government’s decision to rip up the tennis star’s visa.
‘Rules are rules,’ said Judge Anthony Kelly, upon ruling that border agents who gave Djokovic just 20 minutes to produce more documentation to support his visa at 4am had acted unreasonably.
‘Stated in other terms: those rules were not observed.’