Novak Djokovic to remain in detention hotel as appeal verdict delayed to Monday

Novak Djokovic's hopes of defending his Australian Open title are hanging by a thread after his appeal against deportation was adjourned until Monday.

The Australian Border Force earlier confirmed that Djokovic's visa application had been cancelled. Djokovic had travelled to Australia after announcing he had received a medical exemption from Covid-19 vaccination rules to compete in the tournament.

That, however, was not sufficient for border officials with regard to entry into a country that has strict entry requirements. Djokovic, 34, was held for several hours at the airport after flying to Melbourne before ultimately being turned away.

His lawyers appealed against the decision with a verdict expected today, but it has now been delayed until 10am Melbourne time on Monday.

Djokovic will remain in an Australian refugee detention hotel until the outcome is decided.

A statement read: "The Australian Border Force will continue to ensure that those who arrive at our border comply with our laws and entry requirements.

“The ABF can confirm that Mr Djokovic failed to provide appropriate evidence to meet the entry requirements to Australia, and his visa has been subsequently cancelled.

"Non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa cancelled will be detained and removed from Australia.

"The ABF can confirm Mr Djokovic had access to his phone."

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also spoke out, saying Djokovic did not have an exemption to visit the country.

In a press conference, Mr Morrison thanked Border Force officers "for doing their job implementing the Government's policies" and noted entry to Australia "requires double vaccination or a medical exemption".

"I am advised that such an exemption was not in place, and as a result, he is subject to the same rule as anyone else," Mr Morrison told reporters.

"I also want to stress, that ultimately, this is the responsibility of the traveller. It is for the traveller to be able to assert and back up their ability to come into the country consistent with our laws.

"This is nothing about any one individual, it is simply a matter of following the rules, and so those processes will take their course, over the next few hours, and that event will play out as it should."

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