Australian Open: Novak Djokovic's visa ban shouldn't be overturned, says Aus politician

Just a week after receiving some good news with regards to a return to the Australian Open in 2023, Novak Djokovic has received some pushback from a prominent lawmaker in the country.

Djokovic was controversially deported from Australia ahead of last year's tournament as a result of not being vaccinated against Covid-19, missing out on a chance to secure a 10th title in Melbourne as a result.

The Serb made the trip to Melbourne under the assumption he would be allowed in, only for his visa to be rescinded upon arrival, leading to a long, protracted saga that even saw the former world number one held at an immigration facility.

Australian Open Tournament Director Craig Tiley recently hinted that they intend to welcome Djokovic back to the event next year, however, saying: "We are on track to have all the top players back.

"We are at a different point in time now than we were nine months ago and I think it's a very different environment with people travelling freely around the world."

But it looks like Tiley will once again be receiving some pushback, just as he did last year when his plans to have Djokovic compete in Melbourne were ultimately scuppered by politicians in the country.

While Australia has scrapped vaccination requirements for international travellers, Djokovic was banned from entering Australia for three years after his visa was cancelled and he was deported.

During an interview with ABC Radio Melbourne, Australia's Shadow Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews came out against overturning Djokovic's ban, and the same rules should still apply.

"I don't think there is any reason it should be overturned simply because someone has a lot of money," she said.

"So the government would clearly need to look at everyone else in these circumstances who would have had a visa cancelation and see whether or not they should be allowed into the country as well.

"It shouldn't be one rule for Novak Djokovic and a different rule for everyone else who is not worth millions."

Andrews said it would be a "slap in the face" of people in Australia who did the right thing if the decision is overturned.

"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?" she asked.

"It would be a slap in the face for those people in Australia who did the right thing if all of a sudden, Novak Djokovic is allowed back into the country, simply because he is a high-ranking tennis player with many millions of dollars."

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