Djokovic Sorry for COVID Mistakes, Australian Open Visa Still in Doubt

Djokovic Sorry for COVID Mistakes, Australian Open Visa Still in Doubt
  • Djokovic: Immigration mistake is a human mistake
  • Australia is still considering canceling his visa again
  • Serbian apologizes for photoshoot while testing positive for COVID-19
  • The world’s #1 drill for a record-breaking shot put the 21st Grand Slam win
  • Anger boils among the Australian public in his presence

MELBOURNE (Reuters) – Top seed tennis and vaccine skeptic Novak Djokovic blamed human error on Wednesday for an error in Australian immigration papers and apologized for breaking his isolation for a photograph when he contracted the coronavirus last month.

The 34-year-old Serbian star will be chasing a record 21st men’s Grand Slam title at the Australian Open on Monday, but could be deported by a government unhappy with his medical exemption from the coronavirus vaccination.

Djokovic was held alongside asylum seekers in an immigration detention hotel in Melbourne for several days before a judge said the treatment was unreasonable and unreasonable. He ordered his release.

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Despite now training for the tournament at Melbourne Park, Djokovic could still revoke his visa if Immigration Minister Alex Hawke exercises discretion.

Djokovic’s mistake did not help his entry permit, as the box was ticked stating he had not traveled abroad in the two weeks prior to leaving Australia.

In fact, he went to Spain from Serbia. Read more

“This was provided by my support team on my behalf – as I told immigration officials upon my arrival – and my agent sincerely apologizes for the administrative error,” Djokovic said. said on Instagram. Read more

“This was a human error and certainly not intentional.”

Providing false information on the form is punishable by a maximum of 12 months imprisonment plus a fine and possible visa cancellation.

Outrage over this saga is spreading among Australians, who have a vaccination rate of up to 90% among adults.

“I don’t like his arrogance,” said Melbourne resident, Tehan Ismail. “Looks like he’s been telling some lies too. So I think maybe he should turn back.”

“Error of judgment”

Djokovic also regretted an interview and pictures with the French newspaper L’Equipe on December 18 while he contracted COVID-19 for the second time.

“I didn’t want to let the journalist down, but I made sure I distancing socially and wore a mask only when I had my picture taken,” he said. “This was a miscalculation.”

The International Tennis Writers Federation said it was deeply concerned that Djokovic had not told L’Equipe that he had tested positive. “As journalists, we take great care to adhere to all applicable Covid-19 rules and expect all players to do the same,” the co-chairs said in a statement.

Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic practices at Melbourne Park as questions remain over the legal battle over his visa to play at the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 12, 2022. REUTERS/Lauren Elliott

Djokovic said he would not comment further on the vaccine dispute out of respect for the Australian authorities. “I just want to have the opportunity to compete (there),” he wrote.

Djokovic’s visa was initially revoked on the grounds that he had not been vaccinated and his exemption – based on the presence of COVID-19 last month – deemed unsatisfactory.

He denied media reports that he also knew he was injured when he attended an event on December 17 in Belgrade to present prizes to children.

“I was asymptomatic and feeling better, and did not receive notification of a positive PCR result until after that event,” he said, adding that the pre-event rapid antigen test was negative.

However, in an affidavit before an Australian court, Djokovic said he was diagnosed on December 16, the day before.

Arrogant, selfish

Fans, including many Serbian Australians, lent him vociferous support when he was arrested, anti-vaccination advocates hailed him as a hero, and his family portrayed him as a champion for individual rights.

But Djokovic could face hostility from the fans if and when he goes out on the field. Read more

Australians are battling an Omicron wave and Melbourne has suffered one of the world’s toughest lockdowns.

“If an unvaccinated man with untenable views on immunology, who chose to mingle with children without a mask until one day after testing positive for COVID-19, was inexplicably allowed to compete in a sporting event in Melbourne, ticket holders to the Australian Open to demand a refund immediately,” one of The Age readers, Dr David Edgar, wrote for the Melbourne-based newspaper.

It was mainly one of a series angry messages.

There may also be resentment in the locker room, where all but three of the top 100 men are vaccinated

With sensitivities running high as governments and medics around the world push for vaccination as the only way out of the pandemic, the highly-rated Australian television network has inadvertently revealed behind-the-scenes sentiment.

Two Seven West Media anchors were caught in a ‘hot mic’ filled with swear words Off-air conversation Djokovic condemns it as sneaky. Read more

There was finally some sympathy on the streets though.

“I’m really waiting for him to come onto the field and play against the Australian people and Weselina, that’s it,” said Nick Shukla, who is also in Melbourne.

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Additional reporting by Sonali Paul and Courtney Walsh in Melbourne; Byron Kay in Sydney; Aleksandar Vasović in Belgrade; Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; Written by Andrew Cawthorne; Editing by Angus McSwan and John Stonestreet

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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