MELBOURNE – Serbian tennis superstar Novak Djokovic has been banned from entering Australia for three years after his visa cancellation was upheld by three Federal Court judges on Sunday.
However, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Monday that Djokovic could be allowed to enter the country sooner under appropriate conditions, reported Anadolu Agency (AA).
While the ban is for three years, there is the possibility of him returning in the right circumstances, which would be examined at the time, the prime minister told Australian radio station Channel Nine.
On Jan 4, Djokovic said he had been granted a medical exemption from being vaccinated for the coronavirus, but after his arrival, the Australian Border Force cancelled his visa for failing to meet COVID-19 entry requirements.
After he was sent to an immigration detention hotel in Melbourne, a federal court ordered his release.
Australia mandates all players be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus to compete in the year’s first major tennis tournament.
Djokovic has won the Australian Open in 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, 2019, 2020, and 2021.
The 2022 Australian Open, the year’s first Grand Slam, will be held in Melbourne between Jan 17 – 30.