Snooker players treated like lab rats, says O'Sullivan

London (dpa) - Five-times champion Ronnie O'Sullivan believes snooker players are being treated like "lab rats" after British authorities gave the go-ahead for a limited number of fans at the world championship, which starts on Friday.

A small number of supporters were allowed into an outdoor cricket match last week as part of a British trial on welcoming fans back following the coronavirus crisis. Several sports have returned behind closed doors.
The Sheffield snooker, postponed from April and May, is the first indoor event in the trial, with around 300 spectators allowed in per session.
"I have the option not to play but I've decided to play. Maybe with 5,000 fans I could see it's a bit of an income you're going to lose, but 200 fans, is it really?" O'Sullivan was quoted as saying by the BBC.
"Maybe they have to start doing a test on crowds at some point and I've heard people say they're treating the snooker event a little bit like lab rats - you've got to start somewhere, start with snooker players."
Qualifier Anthony Hamilton suffers from asthma and said the scheme is "ridiculous" and "too early" during the crisis.
Face masks must be worn on entering the venue but can be taken off when seated, which Hamilton described as "a mad thing."
World Snooker Tour said being the first indoor event in Britain with crowds since the pandemic began was a "fantastic triumph" but that the health and safety of everyone was the highest priority.

Thursday, July 30th 2020

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