OPINION - Talking Point: Was Australia right to block Djokovic’s entry despite vaccine exemption?

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  • Novak Djokovic
    Novak Djokovic
    Serbian tennis player
Novak Djokovic in Melbourne Airport (Elliot Chris O’Keefe  @cokeefe9)  (@cokeefe9)
Novak Djokovic in Melbourne Airport (Elliot Chris O’Keefe @cokeefe9) (@cokeefe9)

If you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24 hours or so, you might have missed the whole Novak Djokovic debacle in which the world number 1 tennis player thought he had a medical exemption to enter Australia, but this quickly proved to be not the case. Sometime between Djokovic boarding a flight to Melbourne to participate in the Australian Open and the Serb landing on Australian soil the sands had shifted and the Border Force in the country deemed that his paperwork did not meet the necessary requirements.

A statement from the ABF on why it rejected Djokovic’s application said: “The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.

“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 statement went on to add that: “The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone.”

The situation has clearly struck a nerve Down Under, and has even led to Prime Minister Scott Morrison getting involved to say that the tennis player wouldn’t be treated any differently from anyone else, and would be on the “next plane home” if he didn’t meet the country’s entry requirements.

What do you think about the Djokovic situation? Were Australia right to deny him entry to country? Let us know your thoughts in the comments for the chance to be featured on the ES website tomorrow.

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