“Going into a room with 300 people is against my grain”
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Shortly before the start of the Snooker World Cup in Sheffield, the organizers’ spectator concept caused excitement. Anthony Hamilton finds the project “ridiculous”, Ronnie O’Sullivan “unnecessary”. The latter even threatens consequences.
In Snooker is usually a very quiet sport. We only speak and applaud when it is absolutely necessary. Otherwise you can only hear the clacking of the balls.
Anthony Hamilton’s words therefore seem like a thunder reverberation in the elegant world of traditional English games. The professional from Nottingham has criticized the decision of the world association to allow viewers to attend the World Cup in Sheffield despite the coronavirus crisis.
“I find that ridiculous,” said Hamilton, who fears for his health as an asthma sufferer. “Going into a room with 300 people is against my grain. I personally will not feel comfortable there. “
First sports event with spectators
The tournament, which starts on Friday in the Crucible Theater, allows between 250 and 350 spectators per game. The World Cup is considered a pilot project for major sporting events in England, including football games.
“If only one person in the Crucible gets sick and then dies – it’s a person who died for no reason, just for entertainment,” complained the 49-year-old Hamilton, who has qualified for the World Cup for the first time in twelve years Has. He himself belongs to the risk group.
“I have asthma, so I was very careful during the lockdown,” said Hamilton about his everyday life during the pandemic. “I practically shielded myself. I haven’t met anyone. I practiced alone, I washed all of my food, cleaned my clothes before I went into the house. ”
Organizers celebrate “fantastic success”
Hamilton is not the only professional to whom the audience in the hall is a thorn in the side. Previously, Ronnie O’Sullivan had spoken out against fans in the Crucible. “At the moment it is enough that sport is shown on television,” said the five-time world champion to the station “BBC Radio 5 Live”.
He thinks playing in front of an audience is an unnecessary risk. The 44-year-old snooker icon said he wanted to compete anyway. O’Sullivan, however, reserved the right to drop out of the tournament if he felt uncomfortable.
The ingenious and eccentric star later followed suit. He feels reminded of the treatment of “laboratory rats”. Because the World Cup, which lasts until mid-August, is one of the first sports events since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis in front of spectators. “You have to start somewhere,” etched O’Sullivan, “then you just start with the snooker players.”
The organizers, meanwhile, refer to government regulations and refer to the high security measures. The fact that the World Cup, which was originally supposed to take place from April to May and was postponed due to the pandemic, is now the first indoor sporting event in Great Britain to be held again with viewers, is “a fantastic triumph,” it said.
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