“No question” : France changes stance on unvaccinated athletes, Djokovic possibly ruled out for Roland-Garros
After losing an appeal to remain in Melbourne and compete in the Australian Open, there may be more trouble ahead for Novak Djokovic as France finally says athletes should be vaccinated as well
A day after losing his legal fight to remain in Australia and being deported from Melbourne on Sunday night, world No 1 Novak Djokovic received some further bad news as the French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu said that a vaccination pass would be required by athletes to enter sports stadiums in the country.
The position is contradictory to comments last week where it was said that athletes who are not vaccinated would probably be allowed to compete in France after undergoing the quarantine period.
In a tweet posted in French late on Sunday, Maracineanu said, “Vaccinal pass was voted (note : by the assembly). As soon as the law is promulgated, it will be mandatory to go inside the ERP (note : areas receiving audience) where the sanitary pass already applies (stadium, theater, club) for all the spectators, sportsmen and women, professionals, from France or from abroad. “
Meanwhile, Christophe Castaner, a member of the French Parliament and a former Domestic Affairs Minister in the Emmanuel Macron government, close to the President, also gave similar comments whilst speaking on French radio.
Castaner commented, “Mr. Djokovic is not supposed to play if he doesn’t respect a rule applying to the spectators, the ball kids, to the professionals who will work at Roland Garros. No question about it : sportsmen will not have an exemption.”
Mr. Djokovic is not supposed to play if he doesn’t respect a rule applying to the spectators, the ball kids, to the professionals who will work at Roland GarrosChristophe Castaner, Close advisor to Emmanuel Macron
The issue of vaccination may continue to gain prominence in France which will elects its next President three weeks before the 2022 Roland-Garros Championships, which is scheduled to kick off in Paris on May 16, 2022.
Djokovic landed in Dubai on Monday morning after a 13 1/2 hour flight from Melbourne even as the Australian Open, a tournament he has won a record-breaking nine times in his career, got underway. He is the title holder in Paris and would try to win a twenty-first Grand Slam, if he could compete there.