Chaos in Melbourne as fans call for Djokovic's release | Inquirer Sports
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Chaos in Melbourne as fans call for Djokovic’s release

/ 07:23 PM January 10, 2022
Novak Djokovic

Police use pepper spray to disperse supporters of Serbia’s Novak Djokovic outside the offices of his legal team as a car leaves the building in Melbourne on January 10, 2022, after the tennis champion earlier in the day won a court battle to overturn the cancellation of his visa on COVID health grounds. (Photo by William WEST / AFP)”

MELBOURNE – There were chaotic scenes in central Melbourne on Monday night as fans of Novak Djokovic crowded around a car they thought was carrying the Serbian tennis player and chanted “Free Novak! Free Novak!”

Police struggled to hold back the enthusiastic supporters, some carrying Serbian flags, as they pressed against the vehicle and prevented it from progressing down the street away from the downtown offices of Djokovic’s lawyers.

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The world tennis number one had been at the offices for an earlier Federal court hearing into the cancellation of his visa to enter Australia at which the judge ordered his release from a government detention hotel.

Some fans banged on the dark tinted windows of the car, making it impossible to tell if Djokovic was inside, and one man jumped up and down on top of the vehicle.

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At one stage, police deployed pepper spray.

A crowd of more than 100 later gathered outside the exit of the car park, some chanting, others dancing in circles in the middle of the street.

Australia’s Immigration Minister later said he was considering whether to again cancel Djokovic’s visa.

Djokovic was seeking entry to Australia to play in the Australian Open, which starts at Melbourne Park next Monday, to pursue his bid for a record 21st Grand Slam title.

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