Melbourne, Jan 7 (UNI): Australia Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews on Friday said tennis ace Novak Djokovic has not been held captive and is free to leave the country at any time.
Djokovic was granted a medical exemption to compete in the Australian Open. However, the Australian Border Force (ABF) cancelled his visa and denied him to enter after the Serbian failed to meet the entry rules.
“Djokovic is not being held captive in Australia. He is free to leave at any time that he chooses to do so and Border Force will actually facilitate that,” said Andrews as quoted by ABC.
The world no.1 Djokovic remained in immigration detention in Melbourne after being denied entry on Wednesday, BBC reported.
The Australian Open defending champion announced on January 4 that he will be heading to Australia to participate in the season’s first grand slam with an exemption permission.
On January 6, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted, “Djokovic’s visa has been cancelled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders. No one is above these rules.”
“Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from Covid, we are continuing to be vigilant,” added Morrison.