Novak Djokovic could be barred from French Open after vaccine pass law passed

ANIUpdated: Monday, January 17, 2022, 06:03 PM IST
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Serbia's Novak Djokovic plays a backhand return to Spain's Jaume Munar during their men's singles second round match on day four of The Roland Garros 2018 French Open. | AFP PHOTO / CHRISTOPHE SIMON

World number one Novak Djokovic could be barred from playing in the French Open after France's Sports Ministry on Monday said that there would be no exemption from the country's new vaccine pass law for the anti-vaccine tennis player.

Djokovic was deported from Australia on Sunday after the Serbian lost his court case and hence he would not be able to defend his Australian Open title.

"The rule is simple. The vaccine pass will be imposed, as soon as the law is promulgated, in establishments that were already subject to the health pass," France's Sports Ministry said, Sydney Morning Herald reported quoting Reuters.

"This will apply to everyone who is a spectator or a professional sportsperson. And this until further notice. Now, as far as Roland Garros is concerned, it's in May. The situation may change between now and then and we hope that it will be more favourable. So we'll see, but clearly, there's no exemption," it added.

France's vaccine pass law that was approved by parliament on Sunday, will require people to have a certificate of vaccination to enter public places such as restaurants, cafes, cinemas, and long-distance trains.

Djokovic on Sunday had said that he is "extremely disappointed" by the Australian court's ruling to dismiss the tennis player's application for judicial review of the cancellation of his visa.

The world number one men's singles player further confirmed that he will not participate in the Australian Open, where he is the three-time defending champion.

A statement released by the nine-time AO champion read: "I would like to make a brief statement to address the outcomes of today's Court hearing. I will now be taking some time to rest and to recuperate, before making any further comments beyond this.

"I am extremely disappointed with the Court ruling to dismiss my application for judicial review of the Minister's decision to cancel my visa, which means I cannot stay in Australia and participate in the Australian Open," he added.

Djokovic on Sunday lost his appeal against deportation, the Chief Justice James Allsop of the Federal Court of Australia announced.

Djokovic's visa was cancelled on Friday by Hawke, the Australian Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs.

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