Novak Djokovic supporters protested outside the hotel the Park Hotel in Carlton, Victoria, for a second day on January 7, where the tennis player is staying for several days amid a controversy over his visa and COVID-19 vaccination status.
The world No 1 men’s tennis player had been due to play in the Australian Open after posting on social media before departure that he was “heading Down Under with an exemption permission.”
However, the Australian Border Force said Djokovic failed to provide “appropriate evidence to meet entry requirements,” adding that “non-citizens who do not hold a valid visa on entry or who have had their visa canceled will be detained and removed from Australia.”
Video filmed by Najma Sambul, a freelance journalist based in Melbourne, shows a second day of protesting outside the hotel. Some Djokovic supporters are seen dancing, singing, and wearing Serbian flags.
Refugee advocates hoped Djokovic’s profile would bring attention to the detention of 32 refugees at the facility, and lead to their release. Sambul said one clip she filmed shows a Djokovic supporter angry at hearing pro refugee protesters chanting “refugees are welcome here, Djokovic is not”, Credit: Najma Sambul via Storyful