MELBOURNE, Australia (LifeSiteNews) — The world’s number one tennis star Novak Djokovic has been deported from Australia for fear that his presence may lead to “an increase in anti-vaccination sentiment” in that country.
After a short-lived legal victory last week in which a court decision had ordered Djokovic to be released from isolation and granted him permission to stay in the country, his visa was once more canceled by Australia’s immigration minister Alex Hawke who said that it was “in the public interest to do so.”
“I consider that Mr Djokovic’s ongoing presence in Australia may lead to an increase in anti-vaccination sentiment generated in the Australian community, potentially leading to an increase in civil unrest of the kind previously experienced in Australia with rallies and protests which may themselves be a source of community transmission,” he said.
The immigration minister added that Djokovic’s “publicly stated views” as well as his unvaccinated status may “encourage other people to disregard or act inconsistently with public health advice and policies in Australia.”
Djokovic’s attempt to fight the decision again failed during a Sunday hearing before a three-judge panel.
The full reasoning behind the unanimous ruling will be published in the coming days.
The decision follows a long court battle over Djokovic’s visa and the fact that the tennis star is unvaccinated.
Djokovic landed in Serbia today after leaving Melbourne Sunday evening on a flight to Dubai. This came after three judges in Australia ruled in favor of the government’s cancelation of his visa and his deportation.
“I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister’s decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open,” Djokovic stated.
British politician Nigel Farage, who supported Djokovic from the start of his legal issues with Australian authorities, published a video on his YouTube channel in reaction to the tennis star’s deportation, and described the situation as “serious.”
“There are lessons from history about authoritarian governments that behave in this way,” he said.
“My battle wasn’t just for a Serbian tennis player; it was about the direction that the free world is taking. Today, it feels much less free than it ought to.”
The deportation marks the end of a ten-day court battle in which the world tennis number one resisted COVID tyranny and fought to stay in Australia to defend his title in the Australian Open, which is now just getting under way.
According to Newsweek, sales of tickets for the event have been outpaced by fans demanding refunds.
Djokovic made his way to Australia earlier this month after he had been granted a medical exemption to the COVID jab requirement to participate in the Australian Open set to start on January 17.
But after landing in Melbourne on January 5, the tennis star was not permitted to proceed past Australian Border Force (ABF), due to an alleged mistake on his visa application.
The grounds for denying him entry were apparently due to a mistaken application for a visa which does not allow for medical exemptions.
The decision prompted international backlash as Djokovic had to spend days in forced isolation in a hotel in order to defend his right to stay in Australia.
Djokovic has previously voiced his opposition to the COVID-19 vaccination and mandates, including travel mandates. He revealed his inclination not to take the jab back in April as part of a Facebook Live video with fellow Serbian athletes, saying, “Personally I am opposed to vaccination, and I wouldn’t want to be forced by someone to take a vaccine in order to be able to travel.”
A transcript of Djokovic’s interrogation by Australia border guards has indicated that the tennis star has not received a COVID-19 vaccine, but that he has had the virus twice.