MELBOURNE, Australia — Opinions on Novak Djokovic’s visa status ahead of the Australian Open are strong — officially and unofficially, apparently.
Video of a conversation between two TV presenters on Australia’s Seven Network blasting Djokovic – and apparently unaware they were being recorded – went viral after it was uploaded on Wednesday.
Mike Amor and Rebecca Maddern are seen questioning the apparent errors that appeared on Djokovic’s visa application and making personal attacks on the 20-time Grand Slam champion.
“Anyway you look at it, Novak Djokovic is a sneaky liar,” Madden said during the video.
They are also heard to say that the government and the border authorities have bungled the process.
“He had a shitty excuse and then came across his own lies,” Amor replies. “That’s just what’s happening, okay, that’s what happened.”
Djokovic was arrested at the airport when he arrived in Melbourne last week and his visa was canceled by the Australia Border Force, which determined he did not meet the criteria for a medical exemption to the policies of Australia’s COVID-19 vaccination. That visa cancellation was overturned by a judge on Monday, but Djokovic was still in limbo on Wednesday because Australia’s immigration minister was still deciding whether to revoke the top-ranked tennis player’s visa again. .
Craig McPherson, director of news and public affairs for Seven Network, said an investigation was underway to determine how the recording ended up online.
The Australian Open is due to start on Monday.