MARTIN SAMUEL: Novak Đoković is a loser, regardless of whether he received a complaint or not

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After all, it’s a mess. Even now, in almost a week. We’re a little closer to knowing if Novak Djokovic will still be in the draw on Monday. A little closer to finding out if they will detain him, expel him or defend his title.

This is a mess that cannot be avoided. Australia did not want him Melbourne, and I should have said that clearly a long time ago. Instead, the hosts issued him a visa and almost immediately regretted it. So, now we are here again. Back in the darkened vans, back to Melbourne Federal District and Family Court, before Judge O’Callaghan, even more legal arguments.

But not back to Australian Open. Not yet. For now, Djokovic’s visa remains revoked and Alex Hawke, Immigration The minister hopes that he succeeded where many opponents failed to exclude Djokovic from this year’s first Grand Slam.

Novak Djokovic could be detained, deported or defended at the Australian Open next week

Djokovic's visa was revoked again on Friday and he will spend the weekend in custody

Djokovic’s visa was revoked again on Friday and he will spend the weekend in custody

The interview was scheduled for Saturday at 8 a.m. in Melbourne, and further court proceedings were scheduled for Sunday at 9 a.m. As always, Djokovic will not leave without a fight. But even his expensively assembled legal team, led by Nick Wood SC, cannot guarantee victory this time.

Australia is giving almost absolute power to its immigration minister, and the time it took Hawke to decide to revoke Djokovic’s visa is proposing a man to ensure the dots and crossings of each I and T. Not to mention even greater concern for each F and O.

However, if Djokovic is convicted in the fight against unwavering state power, do not forget who brought us here. Djokovic wanted to play in Australia, but did not want to play by Australian rules. He was a seeker of truth who did not seem completely married to the truth. And he sought justice and the good of society, while reserving the right to behave as he pleased.

Although it wasn’t a great week to manage, from frontier to ministry, it was worse for the world’s best tennis player and self-proclaimed unvaccinated crowd champion.

World No. 1 is determined not to give up the Australian Open without a fight

World No. 1 is determined not to give up the Australian Open without a fight

What Djokovic hoped would be treated as a principled position fell apart, as so much of his entry request fell apart. He appeared in public when he should have been in quarantine, in his role it was written that he did not travel, when on analysis even his positive test contained confusing anomalies. QR codes are sometimes read negatively, others positively.

There seemed to be confusion about the dates. Djokovic became an innocent victim of Australia’s cold faceless immigration system to a visitor who wanted to play. Playing to your fame to gain special treatment. And that’s a horrible sight for most.

‘What else could this man do?’ asked sympathetic Judge Kelly earlier in the week. A lot, it turns out. He could have stayed home when he was positive. I could wear a mask. He could take responsibility for filling out or at least controlling his immigration forms so that no convenient location errors were made.

Above all, like 97 percent of his contemporaries, he could be vaccinated, as required by Australia, or stay away, as there were a few. He chose another path and that led us here.

Djokovic had a choice between vaccinating or avoiding Australia (pictured: Serb embarks on a flight to Melbourne earlier this month)

Djokovic had a choice between vaccinating or avoiding Australia (pictured: Serb embarks on a flight to Melbourne earlier this month)

The government’s mistake was not to see what was coming. Unaware that the moment they made the exception of the most prominent anti-vaxer on the planet, they risked his presence dividing their community. This seems to be the conclusion that Minister Hawke has finally reached, and it is one that will be overturned this weekend by Djokovic’s adviser. After all, as they claimed yesterday, there is no evidence that the anti-fraud community will be any less vocal or volatile if Djokovic leaves the country.

The damage has been done and many will almost certainly continue to protest on his behalf. If anything, we could argue that the best way to keep the peace is to let him stay. Nothing will ‘evoke a sense of waxing’ more reliably than deportation.

However, this does not take into account the depth of feelings against Djokovic now. Protesters are making noise, but the silent majority is the one who is at home and eating. And these are the people Prime Minister Scott Morrison needs to be re-elected. He cannot ignore the damage done by the constant dripping of Djokovic’s wrong steps and deception, intentionally or not.

However, if Djokovic appears on the tennis court this week, the mood will be upset. Enraged Serbian exiles and anti-government, anti-wax protesters on the one hand, most Melbournes on the other. Even his famous gesture, in which he imitates throwing his heart into the crowd, will seem hostile, albeit positive, to some after his public appearances. What does it send: love or infection?

If Djokovic plays in the tournament next week, there will probably be outrage in the stands

If Djokovic plays in the tournament next week, there will probably be outrage in the stands

There are many precedents for banning visitors in the name of good order, as Hawke also intends. David Icke is currently banned in Australia for commenting on Holocaust denial, while Kent Heckenlively, a controversial American author, and Polly Tommey, an alleged autism expert, are banned for promoting anti-vaccination views.

Idiot Katie Hopkins publicly boasted that she violated quarantine rules, and she was thrown out. Since no one has found time to veto these publics, it is hard to believe that a man with Djokovic’s profile and views was welcome at first.

For one fact it remains. Shortly before yesterday’s hearing – in fact a meeting on the second meeting – was postponed, Judge Kelly said Covid had a major impact on people’s lives in Australia and around the world in terms of physical and mental health and the economy.

Vaccination rules were therefore a matter of public policy. He therefore wanted the case to be heard in a higher court. But his words also spoke of more. They talked about the outrage felt over those who don’t play fair, over those who threaten others who want to live by their own rules. We have that outrage here around the party season in 10th place. For most Australians, the same selfishness is embedded in Djokovic.

Djokovic tried to play a good boy in the debacle of the interview for L'Equipe, but he made things worse

Djokovic tried to play a good boy in the debacle of the interview for L’Equipe, but he made things worse

Take his explanation that he skipped quarantine to attend an interview and photo shoot with the French sports newspaper L’Equipe, and that he didn’t wear a mask for some interactions. Djokovic said he did not want to let the journalist down. He played a nice guy.

However, there is no sports writer or photographer on the planet who does not understand the need to rearrange this engagement. Not one who would not accept Covid infection as the most legitimate reason for procrastination.

Journalists wore masks throughout the year, obeying the yellow, green and red zones in the arenas, conducting interviews via Zoom. And Djokovic will know that. He will see tennis writers socially distanced, he will be aware of areas that are only for competitors, he will talk to those who work from home or in remote media rooms on Zoom.

It is incomprehensible that a sense of duty forced him to meet with the media while he was potentially contagious with Covid. Serbian law at the time dictated that he should be quarantined for 14 days. It is ridiculous to claim that he kept the appointment out of the goodness of his heart.

Against this background, Djokovic will advance to the third round in federal court on Sunday. Both sides are convinced of their case. Regardless of whether Djokovic wins or loses, he looks lost in his reputation.

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