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World Number One Djokovic to Miss Australian Open

Australia has revoked the visa issued to tennis world number one male player Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic has had his visa to enter Australia dramatically revoked on his arrival in Melbourne, amid a huge backlash over a vaccine exemption.

Djokovic was held in the airport for several hours before border officials announced he had not met entry rules.

He was then taken to a government detention hotel. A court will decide on his deportation on Monday.

The row is around an exemption he said he had to play in the Australian Open.

Tournament organisers said the Serbian player, who has said he is opposed to vaccination, had been granted medical exemption by two independent medical panels organised by Tennis Australia and Victoria state, and denied he had been given special treatment.

The decision infuriated many in a country that has seen a surge in Covid-19 cases, and where over 90% of those over 16 are fully vaccinated. People have also had to endure some of the world’s strictest restrictions and some still cannot travel between states or internationally.

On Wednesday, border officials said the 34-year-old had “failed to provide appropriate evidence” for entry after arriving from Dubai. He is now being held at a hotel in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton which is used for immigration detention.

“Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia,” the Australian Border Force (ABF) said in a statement.

Djokovic’s team challenged ABF’s decision, and a hearing at the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia has been scheduled for Monday.

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