Former Serbian minister revolts over treatment of tennis player

Serbia’s former foreign minister Vuk Jeremi said on Friday that compatriot Novak Djokovic’s treatment in Australia was “scandalous”. The tennis player did not present the necessary documents for vaccination against covid-19, had his visa canceled and is fighting a legal battle to participate in the first grand slam of the year, in Melbourne.

According to him, Djokovic became a scapegoat as the case became fully political within hours. The former minister recalls that the tennis player had previously talked to the Australian authorities and received authorization to enter the country. Jeremi defines as a mistake the fact that the athlete has granted an interview to L’Equipe, from France, even after having tested positive, but that the situation has already gotten out of control.

“The Australian Government’s conduct towards him [Djokovic] it was totally scandalous. He only traveled to Melbourne after meeting all the criteria set by the authorities. Certain politicians decided to jump on it and created the situation in the media. All other tournament participants who obtained the medical waiver from the same medical panel obtained the same visa and entered Australia unhindered. Novak was chosen as a scapegoat by political opportunists,” Jeremi told Newsweek.

“Being stranded at an airport for hours… If this is the way to treat people who are not on Interpol’s list, wanted for international crimes, or traveling on false documents, then after all my years of international relations, I really don’t understand how the world works,” added the former Serbian minister.

understand the case

Djokovic entered the country on January 5 without getting vaccinated, claiming he tested positive for covid-19 on December 16 – the state of Victoria (where Melbourne, the Grand Slam venue is located) determined that only vaccinated people could enter to play. the tournament.

Upon landing at the airport, he was stopped by the customs police for not presenting all the documents necessary to justify entry into Australian territory. Djoko’s visa was initially canceled for posing a risk to public health, but he went to court and won the right to enter the country.

Since then, there was expectation to know whether the Minister of Immigration Alex Hawke would cancel the Serbian visa, which happened this Friday. Now, in addition to running the risk of being deported, the tennis player could be barred from entering Australia for three years.

About Abhishek Pratap

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