Serbs dismayed as Djokovic's visa again revoked in Australia


Djokovic is the defending champion of the first Grand Slam tournament this season and has won nine of his 20 major titles at Melbourne Park.

Novak Djokovic’s supporters in Serbia were outraged on Friday when news broke of a high-profile player’s dismissal in Australia after his visa was revoked. (Photo by AP / Darko Vojinovic)

Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic later accused the Australian government of “torturing” and “torturing” Djokovic and asked if he was just trying to get political views ahead of the upcoming elections.

Djokovic initially refused to say whether he had received the coronavirus vaccine, but was released on strict COVID-19 vaccine laws in Australia to enter the country for the first time. He said this week he had no vaccine.

If he is deported, Djokovic is due to return to Serbia, where his saga attracted people and where he has a well-known reputation and a lot of support.

“Why didn’t you return him immediately, or tell him it was impossible to get a visa?” Vucic asked Australian officials for a visitation address. “Why are you harassing her and why are you not only bullying her, her family and the whole community of people who are open and proud?

“Do you need to win some elections?” Vucic added. “Novak, we have you.”

Cooperation with Djokovic has spread throughout the Balkans.

“I’m a rebel. I’m angry because I don’t expect him to get the best player in the world,” said Mila Aleksic, a Belgrade resident.

“I don’t think he deserves it, especially since he represents our country and he is the number 1 tennis player and the whole world knows him that way. I don’t think he deserved to be treated that way.”

Djokovic’s former coach and mentor, Niki Pilic, said this was “shameful” and said Djokovic was considered a “terrorist”.

“People do not understand what it means to be a world champion, what kind of power, passion and character is needed,” Pilic said.

Serbian champion Novak Djokovic, a men's defensive champion, performs at the Margaret Court Arena Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, on Thursday, Jan.  13, 2022.
The Australian immigration minister used his tactics to cancel the 34-year-old Serb visa on public grounds – just three days before the Australian Open. (Photo by AP / Mark Baker)

“It’s not the end of the world if they don’t play in the Australian Open … they will play in other competitions.”

Nebojsa Covic, a former politician and now owner of the Red Star Belgrade basketball club, said the dispute had made Djokovic a “free country symbol” no matter what.

“He is a global star, the light of free men. Human rights are being violated,” Covic told Prva TV.

“Djokovic is Australia’s best moral candidate.”


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