Football

Novak Djokovic news LIVE: Australia cancels visa as tennis star set to appeal against deportation

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Martina Navratilova tells Djokovic to ‘suck it up’ and ‘go home’

Novak Djokovic has had his Australian visa cancelled by the country’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, and faces deportation from the country just three days before the Australian Open begins. Hawke released a statement saying it was in the “public interest” to cancel Djokovic’s visa. “Today I exercised my power under section 133C(3) of the Migration Act to cancel the visa held by Mr Novak Djokovic on health and good order grounds,” he said.

This is the second time that Djokovic has had his visa revoked and his lawyers are expected to challenge the decision in the court. The first decision went to the Federal Circuit and Family Court this week and was quashed by a judge on procedural fairness grounds. Djokovic was released from Border Force detention and began training in Melbourne ahead of the tournament as he chases a men’s record 21st Grand Slam singles title.

However, pressure has been building all week after he broke his silence over a number of accusations of breaking Covid protocol on Wednesday, and he conceded that he broke isolation and conducted an interview with French newspaper L’Equipe despite knowing that he was positive for the virus, such a transgression could result in up to five years in prison if proven that he lied about his positive test.

Follow all the latest news below as Djokovic prepares to fight deportation once more.

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Djokovic hearing live

Djokovic’s lawyers suggest they don’t want the case to be transferred to the Federal court as it will eat up time ahead of the tournament.

They want Judge Kelly to keep the case in the current court, Federal Circuit and Family Court, in order to make the most of time they have before the Australian Open on Monday.

It’s clear Djokovic is determined to compete.

Sarah Rendell14 January 2022 10:15

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Djokovic hearing live

Djokovic’s lawyers want the timeline to be faster,

They have just said: “We are ambitious on timing than you honour had in mind. We think we will be in a position to file a written application at 10.15 tonight.”

It’s clear Djokovic’s lawyers want this wrapped up as soon as possible. The Australian Open beings on Monday and so it’s clear why they would want to seek an end to the matter quickly.

Sarah Rendell14 January 2022 10:12

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Djokovic hearing live

Judge Kelly: “It seems to me necessary to address a number of issues which could be dealt with by a way of undertaking or court order.”

He named a “interim injunction”, transfer, direction of parties for applications for transfer of proceedings and costs as issues.

Sarah Rendell14 January 2022 10:08

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Djokovic hearing live

Judge Kelly has highlighted some paragraphs on a document from the government under a section highlighted “sensitivities”.

He said he was concerned about them but refrained from reading them out loud – probably mindful of press and supporters watching the hearing. There are now over 35,000 people watching.

So far a lot of legal talk, more updates coming as soon as we have it.

Sarah Rendell14 January 2022 10:00

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Hearing underway

The hearing has now started, stay tuned for updates.

Sarah Rendell14 January 2022 09:52

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Recap of events

The hearing was due to start at 9.45am GMT but it is yet to get underway so here’s a recap of events while we wait.

Djokovic’s visa was re-cancelled by immigration minister Alex Hawke earlier today as it was in the “public interest” to do so. It’s thought the world no.1 is being held in a hotel.

Australian PM Scott Morrison said in a statement: “Australians have made many sacrifices during this pandemic, and they rightly expect the result of those sacrifices to be protected. This is what the Minister is doing in taking this action today.”

It’s unclear what Djokovic will do next and the hearing that should get underway shortly should outline the next steps.

Sarah Rendell14 January 2022 09:51

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Thousands on stream for Djokovic hearing

Thousands of people are streaming the Djokovic hearing, which is due to take place at 9.45am GMT.

It’s a directions hearing is set to outline next steps of where the case can go. It’s not been revealed if Djokovic will appeal the decision but it is thought to be the likely option.

The Serb has already had his visa cancelled and won an appeal this week in what has been an unprecedented situation for the tennis star.

Hearing to get underway shortly and you can watch here

Sarah Rendell14 January 2022 09:44

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Murray doesn’t want to “kick Djokovic while he’s down”

After winning a thrilling match at the ATP to reach the final, Andy Murray refused to criticise Djokovic and he “didn’t want to kick him while he’s down”.

Murray defeated Reilly Opelka 6-7 6-4 6-4 on Monday and re-iterated his point that the visa situation isn’t good for anyone.

“t’s not a good situation. I’m not going to sit here and start kicking Novak whilst he’s down,” Murray said. “I mean, I said it the other day, it’s not a good situation for anyone.

“It’s unfortunate that it’s ended up in this sort of situation, and who knows? I don’t know what the process is from now. I don’t know what route he goes down, if he can appeal that and how long that takes, and can he still be out practising whilst that process is going on or still competing in the tournament?

“I just want it obviously to get resolved. I think it could be good for everyone if that was the case. It just seems like it’s dragged on for quite a long time now and it’s not great for tennis, not great for the Australian Open, not great for Novak.

“Obviously a lot of people have criticised the government here, as well. It’s not been good.”

Sarah Rendell14 January 2022 09:40

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Hearing available to watch

Djokovic is reported to be going in front of a judge in under 20 minutes time in a directions hearing.

That will allow for the next steps to be revealed in this ongoing case which has put tennis and Australia in the spotlight. Supporters can watch the hearing on YouTube.

It’s unknown as to whether the world no.1 will appeal the decision but it’s thought to be likely as he wants to compete for a record 21st grand slam at the Australian Open.

Sarah Rendell14 January 2022 09:35

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Hearing to happen shortly

Reports are coming in that there will be a directions hearing at the Federal Circuit Court in 20 minutes.

A directions hearing is a short court appearance where orders around the case are made about what should happen next. It’s unknown whether we will know if Djokovic intends to appeal the re-cancellation of his visa but the next steps will be laid bare for the player.

It’s been suggested immigration minister Alex Hawke made the decision on his visa late in the day in order to give him a limited chance to compete at the Australian Open. Those reports haven’t been confirmed but it’s also thought his lawyers will be requesting a trial that concludes on Sunday.

The tennis event begins on Monday and Djokovic is the top seed in the men’s event.

Sarah Rendell14 January 2022 09:31

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