Novak Djokovic: Serbian President accuses Australia of ‘lying’ about tennis star | Tennis | sport
The Serbian president has sensationally accused Australia of ‘lying’ about ‘Orwellian performance’ following the expulsion of world tennis star Novak Djokovic. On Sunday morning, three Australian judges ruled in favor of revoking Djokovic’s visa ahead of the Australian Open.
It concluded an incredible saga, which the ATP called “deeply regrettable”.
Djokovic was due to defend his title after being granted a medical exemption from Tennis Australia as he is not vaccinated against COVID-19.
However, an incredible series of events saw the deported 34-year-old along with Immigration Minister Alex Hawke MP revoke Djokovic’s visa on public interest grounds.
The Australian government argues that Djokovic poses a threat to the health of the public, of whom nearly 92% of people aged 16 and over are vaccinated against the virus.
But the fallout from Sunday’s verdict continues and the Serbian government is furious.
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President Aleksandar Vucic has accused Australia of lying about Serbia’s vaccination figures and “Orwellian performance”, in reference to novelist George Orwell.
“You saw in the pointless legal process how much the prosecution lied,” he said.
“They are just lying. They say there are less than 50% vaccinated people in Serbia and officially the number is 58%.
“Remember that it is higher than in many countries of the European Union. It was a pointless argument, but it is possible in Orwellian performances.
He added: “To mistreat the best tennis player for 11 days, and on the 11th day hand over the decision made on the first day to him,” he said, reports Serbian publication Novosti.
“Thank you to the Australian people because I’m sure they love the Serbs.
“They think they humiliated Djokovic, but they humiliated themselves and he can go back to his country and look everyone in the eye with his head held high.”
Australian Immigration Minister Hawke argued revoking Djokovic’s visa was in the public interest. His decision falls within his powers under the Migration Act.
“I welcome today’s unanimous decision by the full Federal Court of Australia upholding my decision to exercise my power under the Migration Act to cancel the visa of Mr Novak Djokovic in the interests of public,” the 44-year-old said in a statement posted to his Twitter account.
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“Australia’s strong border protection policies have protected us during the pandemic, resulting in one of the lowest death rates, strongest economic recoveries and highest vaccination rates in the world. Strong border protection policies are also fundamental to preserving Australia’s social cohesion, which continues to strengthen despite the pandemic.
“Australians have made great sacrifices to get to this point and the Morrison government is firmly committed to protecting this position, as the Australian people expect.
“To date, approximately 43 million doses of vaccination have been administered in Australia and over 91.6% of Australians aged 16 and over are fully immunized.
“As a result, Australia has been able to begin a step-by-step and safe reopening of its international border through this successful vaccination program.”