Australian Open on ‘red alert’ with fears Novak Djokovic saga will spark crowd violence
Novak Djokovic: Nigel Farage praises court ruling
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Australian Open chiefs reportedly fear violence in the stands if Novak Djokovic is allowed to play at the tournament this year. The Serb was given the green light to participate by a judge on Monday morning. However, despite that, his involvement in this year’s showpiece is still up in the air as he looks to win a record 21st Grand Slam title.
Djokovic recently jetted out to Australia believing he’d be allowed to play after being given a medical exemption.
However, he was then forced to quarantine in a special hotel – in conditions his family have hit out at, insisting he’s been subjected to ‘torture’ and ‘harassment’.
On Monday, the chaos over Djokovic’s involvement in the tournament appeared to be over when a judge insisted he should be allowed to play.
Federal Court judge Anthony Kelly said: “A professor and qualified physician provided the applicant a medical exemption.
“The basis of which was given by an independent expert panel established by the state government… that document was in the hands of the [immigration official who cancelled Djokovic’s visa].
“The point I’m somewhat agitated about is, what more could this man have done?”
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And, now, the Daily Mail say tennis authorities fear violence on the back of the decision to let Djokovic take to the court.
The 34-year-old, who has previously won nine Grand Slams Down Under, is now forcing the tennis chiefs to review their security arrangements.
There were incidents of violence on Monday in the Melbourne’s business district on Monday, with police and Serbian fans clashing.
Some protestors were pepper-sprayed after there was a claim Djokovic would be put back in detention, despite the judge’s ruling.
There is still a chance he’ll be denied the chance to win a 21st Grand Slam, with immigration minister Alex Hawke having the powers to overrule.
Hawke, said to be a close ally of Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison, released a statement on Monday that suggested he could intervene.
“It remains within immigration minister Hawke’s discretion to consider cancelling Mr Djokovic’s visa under his personal power of cancellation within the Migration Act,” it read.
“The minister is considering the matter and the process remains ongoing.”
Djokovic’s family held a press conference on Monday, praising the verdict to let the Serb play.
His father, Srdjan, said: “Over the past few days, it’s been very, very difficult for everyone in the world who is free thinking. But he is mentally extremely, extremely strong.
”They took away all his rights his rights, as a human being. He refused to revoke his visa.
“They gave him no right to prepare his defence for several hours, and they took away his phone.
“Fortunately they gave him back his phone. He contacted his legal team who mounted a fantastic defence, that they could not match.
“This is a huge win for Novak, his family and the free world. He respected everything that was asked of him. He only wanted to go there to play tennis and that right he wanted to take away from them.
“Justice and the rule of law have prevailed. The judge who presided over the case has shown that not for second was Novak the guilty party.
“The judge was fantastic, he simply respected the facts. He took the only decision that was possible which was to release Novak.”
And his mother, Dijana, insisted her son had nothing wrong by saying: “He has done nothing wrong, he was subjected to torture, harassment.
“Never before have we faced a situation like this. This was extremely difficult for us.
“We had no idea whether he was ill or whether he had eaten.
“Justice has prevailed today. This is the biggest win of his career. It is bigger than any of the grand slams he has won.”
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