AUSTRALIA, and its Prime Minister Scott Morrison, has got itself into a terrible mess over Novak Djokovic, even though its rules are crystal clear: all foreign visitors to Australia have to be double vaccinated unless they have a medical exemption.

Djokovic is a fabulous tennis player, perhaps the best to ever grace a court. However, he has a long history of unconventional and unscientific approaches to medicine and was anti-vaccination even before the start of the pandemic.

He hasn’t revealed his medical history, but it is unlikely that he has been vaccinated and it is unlikely that a superfit individual like himself has genuine medical condition that prevents vaccination.

The current situation is because on the one hand the Australians were trying to bend their own strict rules so that the world No 1 could appear at their tournament, and because Djokovic tried to bend his anti-vaxx principles – as misguided as they are – by claiming a medical exemption to get round the jab.

Little wonder ordinary Aussies, who have suffered severe lockdowns, don’t think it is fair dinkum, and little wonder conspiracy theorists are reading all sorts into the mess.

As a sportsman, Djokovic should know that you have to play by the rules otherwise chaos ensures.

He should never have been enticed to go to Australia. There cannot be one rule for millions of people and a different rule for the No 1 tennis player. The biggest tragedy is the oxygen that this is giving to the anti-vaxx fire – we need people in Djokovic’s Balkans to take the vaccination to save themselves and to prevent future waves of infection reaching ourselves.