Chaotic scenes have continued in Melbourne outside the quarantine hote l of world No. 1 tennis player Novak Djokovic, after the Serbian had his visa rejected ahead of this month’s Australian Open.
Djokovic announced earlier this week that he had received a medical exemption to compete in the upcoming Grand Slam event down under, after repeatedly refusing to reveal his COVID-19 vaccination status.
However, upon arrival in Australia the 20-time Grand Slam champ was held by border force, before being moved to a quarantine hotel where he will wait until Monday to see if he can compete in this month’s event.
Since arriving a number of Djokovic supporters have camped outside of the Serbian’s hotel, as they protest for the defending Australian Open champion to be freed.
However, the chaos outside the facility has now continued, as refugee rights activists have joined in the protest, after it was revealed a number of asylum seekers were also being held in the same hotel.
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A group of protesters made their thoughts clear as they held up a banner outside of the Melbourne hotel that read: “Djokovic can f*** off free the refugees”
The detention hotel Djokovic finds himself in has been slammed by many for its ill treatment of detainees and refugees in recent times, with one revealing they had been locked up in detention for ‘years’.
A refugee told the Guardian: “There is a disappointment: everyone wants to ask me about Novak, what the hotel is like for him.
“But they don’t ask about us: we have been locked up in this place for months, for years.”
The refugee went on to add that they hope the attention brought by Djokovic onto the facility will also help the asylum seekers held inside.
They continued: “I’ve never seen so many cameras, so much attention. I hope Novak Djokovic learns about our situation here, and I hope he speaks about it.”
Support continues to grow for the world No. 1 outside of his hotel, as fans donned the Serbian colours and waved flags whilst chanting ‘Free Novak’ in demand of his release.
One man who only offered little sympathy though is Djokovic’s long-time rival Rafael Nadal.
The Spaniard said: “He has taken his own position and everybody is free to take their position. But there are consequences.
“I don't like the situation. In some ways, I feel sorry for him.
“But he knew the conditions months ago. He made his own decision."
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