Djokovic deportation 'inevitable': source

By Darren Walton
Updated January 14 2022 - 4:41pm, first published 4:31pm
Novak Djokovic's high-profile battle to remain in Australia continues.

Novak Djokovic was doomed even before he won his Federal Circuit Court case against deportation from Australia.

That's the belief of an ex-Australian Border Force official, who rightly tipped a week ago that Immigration Minister Alex Hawke would revoke Djokovic's visa.



"My mail is that regardless of the court result, Djokovic will still be deported," the source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AAP on January 7.

The former ABF officer said Djokovic being "such a vocal anti-vaxxer" ultimately led to the world No.1's downfall, and posting on social media last week that he was coming to Australia with a "special exemption" was the final straw.

"That was like raising a red flag to a bull to the (Australian) government," the source told AAP.

"He's made such a big song and dance. When this pandemic first kicked off, he was partying at his own tournament shirtless on stage with other players.

"The bottom line is you need to be fully vaccinated to get into the country, unless you've got exemptions from certain things, and he hasn't.

"He's the world No.1 but because he's such a vocal anti-vaxxer, that's why he got looked at and why initially his visa got rejected."

Many have questioned how Djokovic was allowed to board a flight to Australia without the necessary visa.

"When you apply for a visa overseas, you get online and it's pretty much tick and flick. Australia doesn't have Border Force officers at every port around the world," the ex-officer said.

"We don't have the resources. It's impractical and it's not viable.

"So there's background checks done, they go through a process and ... you pop up in a database if you're a criminal or if you've got criminal history, you get looked at closely.

"Clearly Novak's not a criminal - we all know that. But because he's drawn so much attention to himself, that's what made him a target."

The former Border Force official said Djokovic was "quite likely going to get a three-year ban" from entering Australia.

"If your visa gets cancelled, especially if the immigration minister cancels your visa, it's automatic that you get a three-year ban," he said.

Under Australian law, anyone expelled from the country for three years following an adverse decision under section 133C(3), can apply for a waiver under "compelling" or "compassionate" circumstances.

Djokovic isn't giving up his fight to remain in Melbourne and contest the Australian Open, with legal action planned for the weekend.

Australian Associated Press