World-renowned tennis player Novak Djokovic now finds himself at the center of a diplomatic firestorm as the Australian government keeps him detained at the Melbourne airport due to his vaccination status.
On Wednesday, Djokovic arrived at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport after being granted a medical exemption to compete in the Australian Open, where he had hoped to earn a “record-breaking 21st Grand Slam,” according to Reuters.
The champion was subsequently denied entry into the country when the state of Victoria, where the city of Melbourne is located, said the visa he applied for did not allow for a medical exemption. As of Thursday morning, Djokovic remains stranded at the airport, reportedly alone in a room under armed guard, according to his father, Srdjan.
“I have no clue what’s going on. They’ve kept my son in captivity for five hours now,” Srdjan told the Serbian online version of Sputnik. “If they don’t let him go in half an hour, we’ll gather in the streets, this is a battle for everyone.”