The story that happened in Melbourne with Novak Djokovic is like a small fragment of the coronavirus pandemic, when no one understands anything, does not know how best to act and therefore acts blindly, at random – maybe something good will come out. The court overturned the decision to annul the visa, but the Department of Immigration can still send the first racket of the world. Moreover, after the press conference of the tennis player’s family, the chances for this have increased.
For two years now, Novak Djokovic has been known as an opponent of vaccination. However, he never said that vaccinations are bad and do not try to do them. Djokovic only insisted that everyone has the right to choose. And he wanted to know what they were injecting him and why.
Since then, apparently, I did not understand what and why. But he continued to defend his right to choose even when it became clear that without vaccination, he was not allowed to travel to Australia for his favorite Grand Slam tournament. But the tennis player did not refuse the idea to participate there. In general, I did not take off the cross, nor did I put on my underpants. And why, when the opportunity to get to Melbourne loomed on the medical disposal?
Judging by the chaotic messages coming from bureaucratic Australian structures, Tennis Australia sent players a list of possible reasons for withdrawal from vaccination, among which was the clause about the coronavirus postponed after July 31, 2021. And then luck – on December 16 (the screen of the document has been walking on the net for a day) Novak Djokovic was diagnosed with COVID-19.
Already on December 22, the tennis player passed a negative test, he had no symptoms, and he immediately sent a request for a medical withdrawal, which was received. It just turned out that the Australian authorities no longer accept this reason as an exclusion from vaccination. And Djokovic was told this right at the border.
Here is an excerpt from the tennis player’s interrogation transcript published by The Guardian: “The interviewer explains that under the biosafety law, there are certain requirements for entering Australia, and previous coronavirus disease is not considered a contraindication against vaccination in Australia.
Djokovic replies: Sorry, but that’s not true. The Victoria Independent Medical Commission has stated that if you recovered, or if you tested positive and then negative in the past six months, you can qualify for a medical withdrawal.
The interviewer then reads out a statement stating that unvaccinated people pose a greater risk to human health, placing a strain on Australia’s health care system. He adds that if his visa is canceled, he may be barred from entering Australia for three years. Then he asks Djokovic to sign the document. “
Yes, the court overturned the decision to annul Djokovic’s visa and allowed him to stay in Australia. However, Judge Anthony Kelly only found procedural irregularities at the border. In particular, the player was not given enough time to provide a justification for the medication. Judging by the transcript of the interrogation, everything happened at night. “It’s 4 am now. Let’s just wait until morning and call Tennis Australia or my agent. ” But he was not given this opportunity, they gave him a document on the cancellation of the visa for signature, and at 7:45 am they completed the recording of the interrogation.
It is important to clarify that the judgment was based solely on violations. The court did not recognize the right of Djokovic to a medical exception, he did not even consider this issue.
Therefore, it later became known that the Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke may, by his personal decision, again cancel the tennis player’s visa. So far he has not done this, but he has no time limit. Perhaps the story will drag on for a long time – and Novak will even be allowed to play in the tournament. At least Djokovic himself tweeted thanking the judge that he “canceled the visa cancellation” and that he would “try to play at the Australian Open”.
And his mother, at a family press conference on Monday, January 10, said that on Monday in Melbourne court Novak won the biggest victory in his career – “it is even bigger than any victory in any Grand Slam tournament.”
Djokovic’s father promised that Novak would join the family during the press conference, but he did not appear in public, limiting himself to a thank-you tweet.
Everyone hoped that the Serb would answer the question why, after he was diagnosed with coronavirus on December 16, he appeared in public on December 17 and even published photos from events where he was among people and without a mask. But as soon as this question was asked, Novak’s brother declared the press conference closed.
Will everything end well for the first racket of the world? Even if he doesn’t play in Melbourne, his beloved Australian Open, which he has won nine times already, his life will still go on smoothly. And he will still have a chance to beat Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in the Helmets titles. Vaughn, French Minister of Sports Roxana Marasinyanu already answered in advance: Djokovic will be able to play at Roland Garros even without vaccination.
But the tennis player has definitely lost some of his supporters. In Australia, he was always treated warmly, but in recent days there have been many tweets and posts from Australians about the following content: “We cannot go to the funeral of relatives in a neighboring city, but they let him in without vaccination”?
Of course, Djokovic alone will not infect the whole of Australia. And yes, he followed all the requirements, and it was not his problem that the tournament directorate provided the wrong data for reasons for the medical removal. But the obstinacy of the Australians can be understood, but the famous Serbian ex-footballer and coach Sinisa Mikhailovic correctly said: “They made Djokovic an icon and an idol for all opponents of vaccination”. Alas.
And the Novak family shouldn’t have had this awful press conference at all. She can still do much harm.