Bologna boss Sinisa Mihajlovic claims Novak Djokovic 'is a victim' following Australian Open row

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Bologna boss Sinisa Mihajlovic claims Novak Djokovic ‘is a victim’ and says Australian Open organisers are to blame as he confirms Nicola Sansone was reluctant to get the vaccine

  • Sinisa Mihajlovic says Novak Djokovic isn’t to blame for Australian Open situation
  • Djokovic was refused entry to Australia due to his vaccination status 
  • Mihajlovic confirms Bologna’s Nicola Sansone was reluctant to get vaccinated


Bologna manager Sinisa Mihajlovic has claimed that Novak Djokovic is a victim of the situation at the Australian Open.

Djokovic travelled to Australia with a medical exemption from the Covid-19 vaccine.

However, upon arriving in the country the tennis star was ordered to leave, which prompted a legal battle against his deportation. 

Bologna boss Sinisa Mihajlovic says Novak Djokovic isn't to blame for the Australian Open situation

Bologna boss Sinisa Mihajlovic says Novak Djokovic isn’t to blame for the Australian Open situation

Djokovic was sent to a deportation hotel after he was ordered to leave Australia

Djokovic was sent to a deportation hotel after he was ordered to leave Australia

Mihajlovic believes that the organisers of the Australian Open are at fault and insisted that his fellow Croatian Djokovic is not responsible. 

Djokovic has been sent to a deportation hotel in Melbourne for refugees and asylum seekers.

Mihajlovic commented that the situation has made Djokovic ‘an anti-vax hero’. 

As reported by Corriere Dello Sport, Mihajlovic said: ‘It’s a tricky situation, to me, organizers are at fault.

‘They should have followed the Government’s guidelines and don’t guarantee Djokovic that he would play. If he went to Australia, it means that there were the conditions to give him a medical exemption.

‘To me, Djokovic is a victim, he is not the man responsible for this mess. It’s ridiculous to the world’s No. 1-ranked male tennis player locked inside a deportation hotel, even if that could shed light on the condition of asylum seekers.

‘They should have respected the rules. By doing what they did, they made Djokovic become an anti-vax hero.’

Mihajlovic’s Bologna side have been heavily affected by Covid-19, with the team being forced into quarantine this week.

Bologna’s game against Inter Milan was abandoned in farcical scenes, with Inter forced to train and turn up for the game even though there weren’t any Bologna players present.

The game between Cagliari and Bologna has been moved Tuesday.

Mihajlovic confirmed that Bologna's Nicola Sansone was reluctant to get the Covid-19 vaccine

Mihajlovic confirmed that Bologna’s Nicola Sansone was reluctant to get the Covid-19 vaccine

Mihajlovic says that each player in his squad has had at least two doses of the vaccine, but confirmed that Nicola Sansone was reluctant to get vaccinated.

Mihajlovic said: ‘We have ten cases, everyone has got at least two doses of vaccine and the booster was in program between Monday and Tuesday.

‘We’ll play against Cagliari on Tuesday, but I don’t understand why they are in a hurry to play the game.

‘Cagliari and us don’t have cup games and I’ve been coaching the Primavera team for a week. Some of the starters are self-isolating after having contact with some of their positive teammates.

‘Who will play on Tuesday? What kind of league is this? How is this something regular? I understand the emergency, but it’s not acceptable to navigate every time.’

Commenting on Sansone, Mihajlovic said: ‘He [Sansone] didn’t want to take the vaccine, but if the rules say you must get it, then do it, or you are out,’ said Mihajlovic, who contracted the virus in August 2020.

‘I would eliminate swab tests after the booster,’ the coach continued.

‘Doctors say that with the third dose, Omicron becomes like normal flu, so we should act accordingly, staying home until we feel ok.’ 

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