WORLD #1 Novak Djokovic’s Australian Open trip has been delayed after state government officials declined to endorse his visa application.
Acting Sports Minister Jaala Pulford said late Wednesday that her state had refused a request for assistance and that visa permits were a federal affair.
It wasn’t clear why the state needed to help.
But, according to Australian media, the nine-time Australian Open winner may have applied for the wrong visa.
The Serb would be “on the next plane home” if the reasons for his exemption were “insufficient”, according to Australian PM Scott Morrison.
“No special rules for Novak Djokovic. “None at all,” he said.
Karen Andrews, Australia’s Home Affairs Minister, warned of severe border regulations.
In a statement, she added that while the Victorian and Tennis Australia governments may allow non-vaccinated players to compete in the Australian Open, it is the Commonwealth government that will enforce our regulations at the border.
“At the Australian Open, no one will be given special treatment.”
He landed late Wednesday in Melbourne.
In a tweet, Pulford said the federal government had asked if he would assist Novak Djokovic’s visa application.
“We will not assist Novak Djokovic with his visa application for the 2022 Australian Open Grand Slam.”
the Victorian government’s backing for Djokovic’s work visa, according to the Australian publication.
Because Djokovic’s team had requested “the improper type of visa,” the federal Border Force informed the Victorian government, The Age said.
However, Djokovic’s arrival into Melbourne was delayed, according to The Age.
The news that vaccine-skeptic Djokovic had acquired a medical exemption from a Covid vaccine to compete in this month’s Open enraged Australians.
Tournament director Craig Tiley said the reigning champion had received “no particular favour,” but challenged him to explain why he was exempt.
All players at the 2022 Grand Slam must be vaccinated against Covid-19 or have a medical exemption granted by two independent expert panels.
He stated late Tuesday he was on his way to Melbourne with “exemption permission”, concluding the long-running issue regarding his title defence.