Australia Bickers Over Star Tennis Player’s Eligibility to Compete

Australia Bickers Over Star Tennis Player's Eligibility To Compete

( – Controversy continues to rage over Novak Djokovic’s Australian entry visa status. Immigration Minister Alex Hawke canceled the 34-year-old Serbian tennis player’s visa for a second time on Friday, January 14. Meanwhile, Australian citizens and sports fans bicker over Australia’s strict policy regarding mandatory vaccination to enter the country.

Djokovic’s already filed an appeal, and the 34-year-old player hopes to have his visa returned in time to play in the Australian Open tournament as early as Monday.

Australians remain bitterly divided over vaccine mandates. Some Australians feel Djokovic should be allowed to play in the tournament regardless of his vaccination status. Others say there’s no reason for a waiver for him after numerous police officers, doctors, and nurses lost their jobs for refusing to get jabbed.

The controversy surrounding Djokovic has political implications, too. Australia’s general elections take place in May, and politicos say Prime Minister Scott John Morrison plans to campaign on his administration’s handling of the pandemic, including the use of strict border policies aimed at containing the spread of COVID-19.

Djokovic and his lawyers plan to meet with officials on Saturday over the future status of his visa. If the cancellation holds, Australia could bar him from entering the country for three years.

What are your thoughts? Should the Australian government give him a waiver and let him play in the tournament?

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