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Djokovic entry would be ‘slap in face’ to vaccinated Australians – politician

An Australian former government minister claimed that lifting the tennis star’s ban would be wrong

Australian former Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews has claimed that waiving Novak Djokovic’s visa ban to let him play at the Australian Open in early 2023 would be a “slap in the face” for her countrymen and women who received their Covid vaccines. 

The unvaccinated Djokovic arrived in Australia in January of this year with a medical exemption that he thought would be enough to allow him to defend his title at Melbourne Park.

After a public outcry, however, he was detained, deported and barred from entering Australia until 2025 under government rules. 

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The Australian government has the power to waive the ban, and Australia scrapping its requirement for foreign international travelers to declare their vaccination status has given encouragement that the 21-time Grand Slam winner could have the chance to compete at the tournament in 2023. 

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Djokovic is gearing up for the Laver Cup in London.
Djokovic has ‘no regrets’ on vaccine stance

Djokovic recently revealed that he hopes to hear “positive news” on his chances of heading Down Under, where he has won a record nine titles, but former government minister Andrews insisted that the change of rules should not have any impact on Djokovic’s case. 

“There would have been other people in similar circumstances that have also had their visas canceled,” she explained to ABC Radio in Australia on Monday.

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“So if immigration now chooses to make a special allowance for Novak Djokovic, the obvious question is what are they going to do about anyone else who may be in similar circumstances?”

Andrews claimed that lifting Djokovic’s ban and allowing him to return to Australia before 2025 would be a “slap in the face for those people in Australia who did the right thing (and) got vaccinated.”

“(Why should) Novak Djokovic be allowed back into the country simply because he’s a high-ranking tennis player with many millions of dollars?” she asked.

“It shouldn’t be just one rule for (him) and a different rule for everyone else.”

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Allowed to compete Down Under: US swimmer Michael Andrew © Giorgio Scala / BSR Agency / Getty Images
Unvaxxed US swimmer welcomed to Australia months after Djokovic row

Djokovic was unable to make the trip to New York for the US Open this summer due to his unvaccinated status, but has maintained that he has no regrets about missing a second out of four calendar Grand Slams due to his stance. 

“I don’t have any regrets,” said the 35-year-old ahead of the Laver Cup in late September. 

“I mean, I do feel sad that I wasn’t able to play [at Flushing Meadows], but that was a decision that I made, and I knew what the consequences would be. So I accepted them, and that’s it.”

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Djokovic clinched back-to-back tournament wins in consecutive weekends by beating Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Astana Open final on Sunday.


READ MORE: Djokovic clinches fourth title of 2022 (VIDEO)

Also winning the Tel Aviv Open a week earlier, he now has 90 tour-level titles to his name and admitted that a forced three months away from the court after winning Wimbledon in July made him hungrier for success.

“I could not ask for a better re-start of the season. I’m super-pumped and motivated to end the season as well as I have done these past couple of weeks,” Djokovic said on court in Kazakhstan.

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https://ift.tt/tkrElNf 10, 2022 at 04:20PM
from RT – Daily news

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