Novak Djokovic: Door not slammed shut, says Australian PM
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has left the door open for Novak Djokovic to compete at next year’s Australian Open despite the tennis superstar facing an automatic three-year ban from entering the country. The world No.1 left Australia late on Sunday after the Federal Court upheld a government decision to cancel his visa, capping days of drama over the country’s Covid-19 entry rules and his unvaccinated status.
Under immigration law, Djokovic cannot be granted another visa for three years unless Australia’s immigration minister accepts there are compelling or compassionate reasons.
“I’m not going to precondition any of that or say anything that would not enable the minister to make the various calls he has to make,” Morrison told 2GB radio on Monday as Djokovic was en route to Dubai.
“It does go over a three-year period, but there is the opportunity for (a person) to return in the right circumstances, and that will be considered at the time.”
Morrison on Monday defended his handling of the situation and differentiated Djokovic’s case from vaccine sceptics within his own government.