Supporters of Novak Djokovic take to the streets of Belgrade in support of Serbian President accusing Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison of “political witch hunts”
- Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic called Novak Djokovic saga a “political witch hunt”
- Australian authorities accused of “relentless political pursuit” of world tennis No.1 Novak Djokovic
- Aleksandar Vucic also honored Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison for the saga of exemptions
- Defending Australian Open champion to spend four days in refugee hotel and could be kicked out on Monday
Fans of world tennis star Novak Djokovic took to the streets of Belgrade today to show their support for the player.
Djokovic could be deported from Australia on Monday after being refused entry to Melbourne by border force officials due to vaccine exemption criteria.
He now faces the next four days in a refugee hotel while waiting to see if he will be deported from the country on Monday.
And showing their support for the player, crowds of people – including members of Novak’s family – took to the streets in Serbia’s capital.
A man carrying a large Serbian flag on his shoulders is seen holding a large sign in front of a crowd of angry people outside the National Assembly in Belgrade, Serbia today
Pictured: Srdjan Djokovic, father of the world tennis star, speaks through a megaphone earlier today in Belgrade
A large crowd gathered in the Serbian capital earlier today to protest against the treatment of tennis star Novak Djokovic
Speeches were made using megaphones and people waved Serbian banners and flags as people raised their voices on the issue.
It comes after Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic shoots Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as the Novak Djokovic deportation saga continues.
The tennis superstar could be kicked out of the country next week after arriving in Melbourne for the upcoming Australian Open on Wednesday night before being dismissed by Border Force officials on vaccine exemption criteria.
Djokovic will spend the next four days in detention in refugee detention hotel after Federal Court adjourned appeal to stay in Australia until Monday.
The Serbian president defended Djokovic and singled out Mr. Morrison as he accused the Australian authorities of a “political witch hunt”.
People are seen clapping and raising their arms in the air as Srdjan Djokovic addresses them outside the National Assembly in Belgrade today
Novak Djokovic’s family were among the crowd raising their voices over Djokovic’s treatment in Australia
Novak Djokovic’s parents Dijana and Srdjan are seen outside the National Assembly in Belgrade earlier today during the protest
Novak Djokovic’s hopes of defending Australian Open title threatened after authorities rejected vaccine exemption
“What is not fair is the political witch hunt carried out by everyone, including the Prime Minister of Australia, claiming that the rules apply to everyone,” Vucic said Thursday.
He claimed other tennis stars had been allowed to enter Australia with medical exemptions, but two anonymous players are now under further scrutiny.
Of the 26 players and support staff who requested an exemption to attend the Grand Slam, only a handful were accepted, according to Tennis Australia boss Craig Tiley.
The Serbian president called Djokovic’s treatment “infamous in the true sense of the word”.
The star’s Australian Open title defense and his quest to become the greatest male tennis player of all time appear to be in tatters unless his call succeeds within a week of the Melbourne Park Grand Slam .
Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic (pictured December 21) described Australian authorities’ treatment of Djokovic as a political witch hunt
Fans gathered outside the quarantine facility where Novak Djokovic was being held on Thursday night (pictured)
“I am afraid that this relentless political pursuit of Novak will continue until such time as they can prove something, because when you cannot defeat someone, you turn to these types of things,” Vucic said.
Serbian authorities have already been in contact with the Australian Ambassador, while Prime Minister Ana Brnabic hopes to get in touch with a senior official in Australia’s Home Affairs Department.
Mr. Vucic has also been in contact with Djokovic, 20 times Grand Slam champion, spends the Orthodox Christmas alone and in detention.
“I told our Novak that all of Serbia were with him and that our authorities were taking all measures to end the harassment of the best tennis player in the world as soon as possible,” Vucic said earlier on Thursday. .
“What is not fair is the political witch hunt carried out by everyone, including the Prime Minister of Australia (pictured Thursday), claiming the rules apply to everyone,” said Thursday Mr. Vucic.
Supporters of Novak Djokovic sang songs and lit candles outside the refugee detention hotel where he is currently staying (pictured Thursday)
“In accordance with all standards of public international law, Serbia will fight for Novak Djokovic, for justice and truth.”
Serbian newspaper Novosti called the visa cancellation hypocrite while Informer media called it “tyranny”.
“The police treat Novak like he’s the greatest TERRORIST,” the right-wing tabloid said.
Back in Australia, dozens of Serbian fans and Australians braved the rain to gather for a candlelight vigil outside the Melbourne Quarantine Hotel where Djokovic is being held.
Many were draped in Serbian flags, singing songs and holding placards pledging their support for the world number one under surveillance by a heavy police presence.
Serbian supporter Novak Djokovic holds up a sign at the hotel where the tennis champion is reportedly staying in Melbourne (pictured Thursday night)