“Civil disturbance” and a high-profile court confrontation could result from Novak Djokovic’s anti-vaccination stance, Australia said on Saturday.
Australia’s conservative government is seeking again to deport the unvaccinated 34-year-old.
And Djokovic will appeal again on Sunday.
The case will be considered by the full Federal Court of three justices starting at 9:30am (2230GMT), with minimal room for appeal.
For now, the Serbian star is back in a notorious Melbourne immigration detention centre after winning his first court appeal.
A motorcade was seen transporting him from his lawyers’ offices to the former Park Hotel.
Most people remember him as a gangly all-conquering tennis champion with a powerful backhand and an anti-vaccine stance.
In court documents, Australia describes him as a leader of anti-vaxxers and a possible source of “civil unrest” who must be removed.
Asserting that Djokovic’s presence in Australia “may foment anti-vaccination attitude”, immigration minister Alex Hawke revoked his visa.
Hawke believes Djokovic’s presence might cause “social disturbance” as well as health violations.
With only two days till the Australian Open, the defending champion is back on the sidelines.
After months of controversy, Djokovic used a medical exemption to enter Australia last week, hoping to win a record 21st Grand Slam championship at the Open.
Many Australians believe Djokovic cheated the system to avoid immunisation obligations.
The Australian government cancelled Djokovic’s visa on arrival, sparking widespread outrage.
But a judge renewed Djokovic’s visa and permitted him to stay in the country.
When it comes to public health and safety, the government uses extraordinary, difficult-to-challenge executive authorities.
Experts argue the case has broader implications than just one man’s fate.
A law instructor at Flinders University said the case is likely to determine how tourists and even Australian citizens view immigration rules and ‘equality before the law.’
The government cited no evidence, Djokovic’s lawyers allege.
However, he suggested Djokovic’s past “disregard” for Covid-19 laws may pose a risk to public health and inspire people to defy pandemic rules.
The tennis star got Covid-19 in mid-December and failed to isolate despite knowing he was positive.
Around the time of his last infection, he was photographed at a stamp launch, a youth tennis tournament, and a media interview.
Top seed at the Australian Open, Djokovic has won nine times. He’d been practising just hours before Hawke made his decision.
The cancellation effectively bars Djokovic from acquiring a new Australian visa for three years, locking him out of one of the four Grand Slam tournaments.
He shares 20 Grand Slam victories with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal.
Serbien alleges ill-
Australia has been accused of “mistreating” Serbia’s biggest celebrity and national hero.
“Why didn’t you return Novak Djokovic immediately and inform him ‘it is difficult to secure a visa’?” Vucic tweeted.
“We back you, Novak!”
On Saturday, Nadal hit back at his adversary, saying the scandal was overshadowing the year’s first Grand Slam.
For Nadal, the Australian Open is more significant than any individual.
“With or without him, it will be a terrific Australian Open.”
This could be the defining moment of Djokovic’s career, said defending Australian Open champion Naomi Osaka.
“I think it’s a shame. “It’s awful that some people remember him like this,” she remarked.