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Novak Djokovic visa: Australian minister Alex Hawke says risk of ‘civil unrest’ behind cancellation

Hawke says tennis champion is ‘perceived by some as a talisman of a community of anti-vaccine sentiment’

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Tennis champion Novak Djokovic, who has been described as a risk to “civil unrest” and a “talisman of anti-vaccination sentiment”, may never get the chance to defend his Australian Open title, facing a three-year ban from the country ahead of a last-ditch court challenge to stay.

Australia’s immigration minister, Alex Hawke, personally cancelled the unvaccinated world No 1’s visa, arguing his presence in Australia could incite “civil unrest” and encourage others to eschew vaccination against Covid-19.

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