Snooker: Mark Allen may face disrepute charge for bad language

 

Northern Irishman Allen was heavily critical of the decision to shorten the early rounds of the UK Championship, where he was a first-round victor over Adrian Gunnell on Monday.

Northern Irishman Allen was heavily critical of the decision to shorten the early rounds of the UK Championship, where he was a first-round victor over Adrian Gunnell on Monday.

A statement from World Snooker today read: "Following Mark Allen's use of inappropriate language in his press conference at the Williamhill.com UK Championship, he has been referred to the World Professional Snooker and Billiards Association (WPBSA)'s disciplinary committee as he is in breach of tournament rules and could be charged with bringing the game into disrepute."

Allen said yesterday: "The players don't really matter, so **** the players.

"Whenever Barry came in, one of the first things he said was that the World Championships, UK and Masters wouldn't be touched. Only 18 months later, the UK format has changed.

"I don't think he's pleasing too many players, but anyone who voted for him has only got themselves to blame. I wasn't one of them."

Allen claimed Hearn was trying to create a similar atmosphere to that which exists in darts.

"I've got no doubt he'll tweak the World Championship. Barry's just there to make money for himself, it doesn't really matter about the players. The whole tradition of the game is going to pot," Allen said yesterday.

"It's not all about bringing people in to watch and have a good time, shouting and having a drink.

"He (Hearn) needs to get away from the darts factor. It's getting close to that. I think in the long run he'll probably do good for snooker, but not for my generation. It's time to let someone else have a go."

World Snooker's statement today continued: "World Snooker's governing body, the WPBSA, expects its members to behave in a manner which is appropriate to their status as professional sportsmen.

"At a time when our sport is growing fast on a global scale and we are encouraging greater participation among young people, we expect players to be role models and take the issue of their behaviour very seriously.

"World Snooker will make no further comment until after the disciplinary hearing."

WBPSA chairman Jason Ferguson defended the new-look structure of the tournament.

He said: "We consult with players and try to be available at venues and, up until yesterday, Mark Allen had not expressed anything about the changes.

"I can see his argument but the format hasn't changed. We're playing snooker, the game hasn't changed. Barry promised not to change the fundamental principles of what snooker is.

"Our events must look different, they can't look the same. We've seen a huge growth in our sport due to changes taking place. I don't think tradition has been taken away. The audience are silent, we have a terrific crowd.

"We have different events, but this event is still traditional."

 

PA

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