. The Serbian Foreign Ministry on Thursday, January 6, verbally protested to Australian Ambassador Daniel Emery over the "inappropriate treatment" of tennis player Novak Djokovic by Australian authorities.
"Australian Ambassador to Serbia Daniel Emery was verbally protested today at the Serbian Foreign Ministry over the inappropriate treatment given to the world's best tennis player and Serbian citizen Novak Djokovic in Melbourne,"- the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry added that Deputy Foreign Minister Nemanja Starovic told Ambassador Emery that he expected him to make a "personal effort" to allow Djokovic to await a court decision on staying in Australia "in conditions appropriate for an athlete of his rank."
Earlier in the day it was reported that Australian authorities cancelled Djokovic's visa due to an error in his entry request. The athlete was travelling to compete in the Australian Open Grand Slam tournament. Djokovic's lawyers are planning to appeal against the decision.
Commenting on the situation, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the country has equal and indisputable rules of entry. He said a strong border policy is very important for the country, especially in the context of the fight against the coronavirus.
A member of Djokovic's team, who was responsible for collecting the documents, reportedly chose a type of visa that cannot be obtained with a medical waiver against COVID-19 vaccination.
It has also come to light that the athlete was questioned by border guards at Melbourne airport for six hours, in particular about his vaccination waiver.
The 34-year-old Serb has repeatedly refused to disclose his vaccination status, while Australian Open tournament organisers require all participants to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or have a medical exemption. The tennis player announced on Tuesday that he had received such an exemption.
The Australian Open 2022 starts on January 17 in Melbourne. Djokovic is a nine-time and reigning tournament winner.