Novak Djokovic’s dad blasts "they’re holding my son captive" as saga drags on

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The father of 20-time Grand Slam winning tennis icon Novak Djokovic has accused staff at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport of 'holding his son captive' after a row over Covid-19 vaccine exemption.

The world No.1 took to social media yesterday to tell his followers that he had received 'exemption permission' to competed at the Australian Open, which runs from January 17 until January 30.

Rules in the Australian state of Victoria say that people have to be jabbed in order to work, but there are exceptions with medical exemption, with Djokovic refusing to reveal his vaccine status.

However, since Djokovic arrived in the country on Wednesday, he has been held by officials due to an error a member of his team made when applying for a work visa.

The visa that was submitted is not thought to apply to those who have received medical exemptions from a vaccine, leading to a period of confusion for Djokovic and his team.

In a later update, the Telegraph report that Djokovic remains in detention after more than six hours, with his father Srdjan Dokovic lashing out.

Dokovic said: "They are holding my son captive. If they don't release him in the next half an hour, we will fight them on the street."

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In addition, SportKlub report that Djokovic had been isolating in a room in which he was not allowed to use his mobile phone.

Earlier in the week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison had vowed that Djokovic would be subject to the same medical checks as anybody else entering the country.

He said: “If that evidence is insufficient, then he won't be treated any differently to anyone else and he'll be on the next plane home."

Australian tennis legend Rod Laver had also given his thoughts on the matter, suggesting that people won't be happy to have a non-vaccinated player at the tournament unless they are medically exempt.

Laver said: "I think it might get ugly.

"I'd think the Victorian people would be thinking, 'Yes I'd love to see him play and compete, but at the same time there's a right way and a wrong way.'

"Yes, you're a great player and you've performed and won so many tournaments, so it can't be physical. So what is the problem?"

  • Tennis
  • Novak Djokovic

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