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“World’s best sportsperson” Novak Djokovic should not be treated like a criminal, demands Serbia

Notably, the 34-year-old won his court bid on Thursday which has allowed the defending Australian Open champion to remain in Australia at least until Monday.

Saurabh Ganguly Author

Updated - 7 January 2022 7:04 pm

After all that has unfolded in Australia following Novak Djokovic landing on their shores ahead of the Australian Open, Serbia’s foreign secretary Nemanja Starovic has demanded that the Kangaroo land should move the world number one men’s singles tennis star to a nicer hotel. Notably, Djokovic continues to stay in the immigration detention centre after his visa was cancelled after arrival.

The demand from Starovic came after acting Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan revealed that Tennis Australia did not inform the local government about the Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s official letters that having a prior COVID-19 infection- on the basis of which the Serbian tennis ace was granted exemption from vaccination- would not be accepted as a genuine parameter for the exemption.

“We expect that the ambassador personally takes action for him to be moved to accommodation befitting the best sportsman in the world, not a criminal or an illegal immigrant,” Starovic said in the statement, as reported by Sydney Morning Herald.

In addition, Starovic stated that the Serbian population is convinced that Djokovic has become a victim of the internal politics in Australia.

Notably, the 34-year-old won his court bid on Thursday which has allowed the defending Australian Open champion to remain in Australia at least until Monday.

Djokovic is no special case: Australia PM Scott Morrison

Following these developments, Djokovic, who missed out on completing a historic calendar slam last year, decided to legally challenge his visa cancellation. He made this decision after waiting for eight hours in detention at the Melbourne Airport where he couldn’t convince the border officials to let him in.

While earlier Djokovic had himself confirmed that he would be travelling to Australia, it was reported that this was due to a medical exemption. The said exemption received a huge backlash from people of all spheres since there are strict guidelines in place amid the pandemic for ordinary men and women in Victoria and those wanting to visit for anything business or personal.

The Australian PM Morrison later said that Djokovic will not be treated as a special case and the same rules will apply to him.

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