The Australian Federal Court has released details why it rejected Novak Djokovic’s challenge against his visa cancellation, stating Immigration Minister Alex Hawke’s decision to cancel Djokovic’s visa was not irrational or illogical, as was claimed by Djokovic’s legal team.

Chief Justice James Allsop, Justice Anthony Besanko and Justice David O’Callaghan found it was not irrational for the Mr Hawke to be concerned that the support of anti-vaccination groups for Djokovic may encourage protests and further community transmission.

The judges said they did not consider the merits or wisdom of the minister’s decision, only whether or not it was lawful.

The reasons published online on Thursday make note of the tennis star’s influence in the public sphere.

“This is not fanciful; it does not need evidence. It is the recognition of human behaviour from a modest familiarity with human experience.

“Even if Mr Djokovic did not win the Australian Open, the capacity of his presence in Australia playing tennis to encourage those who would emulate or wish to be like him is a rational foundation for the view that he might foster anti-vaccination sentiment.”

The court then outlined the argument from Djokovic’s legal team.

“The central proposition of Mr Djokovic’s argument was that the Minister lacked any evidence and cited none that his presence may ‘foster anti-vaccination sentiment’,” the court said in its published reasons.

“However, it was open to infer that it was perceived by the public that Mr Djokovic was not in favour of vaccinations.

“It was known or at least perceived by the public that he had chosen not to be vaccinated.

The judges also agreed the minister was under no obligation to provide a statement of reasons in the case, but he did.

“They were evidently carefully drafted,” the court said.

“There was a clear interrelationship among all parts of the Minister’s reasons.

“The themes of encouragement and emulation of a sporting hero and icon run through the reasons for satisfaction as to health and good order and the public interest.”