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Novak Djokovic could be deported from Australia as government prepares case to chuck him out

The Australian Federal Government is tonight still preparing paperwork to try and boot Novak Djokovic out of the country, with sources warning letting him stay would set a ‘dangerous precedent’.

It is understood the government is willing to receive harsh backlash internationally over the issue in order to maintain its ‘tough on Covid’ border stance. 

The world no. 1 was originally set to be given the boot after being detained at an immigration hotel over the weekend but won a battle in the Federal Circuit Court to remain in the country and chase his 10th Australian Open title. 

Immigration Minister Alex Hawke is set to hand down his decision on Thursday with bureaucrats from the Department of Home Affairs’ investigating inconsistencies in the tennis star’s story.

Djokovic, who is a vaccine sceptic, attempted to address a number of concerns about the situation in a lengthy statement posted to his Instagram page on Wednesday but several questions still remain.

Of most concern to Australian officials is Djokovic’s admitted breach of Serbia’s isolation rules after learning he had tested positive and the false information he provided on his travel entry form which he later blamed on his agent.

Lingering mystery also surrounds when the 20-time Grand Slam winner actually learned he had Covid with a German publication sowing doubt on the timing of his PCR test after QR Code information was uncovered that ‘did not match up’.

Pictured: Novak Djokovic during a practice session ahead of the Australian Open, in Melbourne, Australia January 11, 2022

Novak Djokovic with his wife Jelena. He has hit out at 'misinformation' over claims he tested positive to Covid and then attended an event with children

Novak Djokovic with his wife Jelena. He has hit out at ‘misinformation’ over claims he tested positive to Covid and then attended an event with children

The 34-year-old disclosed he had attended an event with children while he was Covid positive, but claimed he didn’t know he was infected until afterwards.  

Djokovic has been the subject of intense scrutiny for presenting awards to kids at a at the event in Belgrade on December 17 – a day after recording a positive result for the virus. 

The Serbian maintained he was not aware of his diagnosis until shortly after but did admit to conducting an in-person interview with French newspaper L’Équipe knowing he was positive.

He called his decision to go ahead with the Q and A an ‘error in judgement’ but said he maintained social distancing and wore a mask. 

Under Serbian law such a breach can carry a maximum sentence of three years behind bars. 

The tennis ace is also in hot water for various inconsistencies on his Australian declaration form.

Djokovic falsely said he had not travelled to any in the 14 days prior to arriving in Melbourne, but it was later revealed he had been in Spain. 

Novak Djokovic (pictured at a training session on Wednesday) has addressed questions about his positive Covid test in mid-December

Novak Djokovic (pictured at a training session on Wednesday) has addressed questions about his positive Covid test in mid-December

‘This was submitted by my support team on my behalf – as I told immigration officials on my arrival,’ he said.

‘My agent sincerely apologises for the administrative mistake in ticking the incorrect box about my previous travel before coming to Australia.’

Djokovic said the mistake was a ‘human error’ and in a pandemic ‘sometimes these mistakes can occur’.

‘Today, my team has provided additional information to the Australian government to clarify this matter,’ he said. 

That ‘additional information’ is currently being assessed by Immigration Minister Hawke who is weighing up whether to us his discretional powers to deport the tennis great.

Ministers and advisors within the Morrison government are growing apprehensive about the diplomatic fallout internationally, but at the same time many feel failing to act would will bring embarrassment on the homefront and undermine Australia’s strong stance on borders.

Either way, policymakers do not want the scandal to drag on any further and have called on Mr Hawke to make the call as soon as possible.

The Immigration Minister however has quietly rejected their demands and is in the process of examining all of Djokovic’s submissions.  

‘Mr Djokovic’s lawyers have recently provided lengthy further submissions and supporting documentation said to be relevant to the possible cancellation of his visa,’ a spokesman for Minister Hawke said.

‘Naturally, this will affect the timeframe for a decision.’    

Written by svenscan

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