Snooker: Robertson happy to forgive Higgins

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The Independent Online

Neil Robertson, the world champion, has urged his fellow players to lay off John Higgins when the Scot returns from his suspension next month. Higgins was cleared of match-fixing but received a six-month ban and was ordered to pay a £75,000 fine in September after admitting breaching rules around betting, following an investigation into allegations he agreed to throw frames.

Robertson feels some players are surprised the three-time former world champion is to return so soon. The ban was backdated to the time of his initial suspension in May, so Higgins will soon be clear to resume his career – although not in time for Saturday's Power Snooker tournament in London where Robertson will compete. Higgins is due to play at the Euro Players Tour Championship event in Germany, starting on 11 November.

"Some players probably feel the suspension should have been for longer," said Robertson. "But it was out of our hands. The players aren't the ones who make the decisions – it was an independent tribunal. So if any players want to have anything negative to say then it should be towards them and not Higgins.

"It's not John Higgins' fault. All he can do is plead his case and take whatever the suspension or fine was. I think that everyone's looking forward to having John back in the game. We're all human beings and make mistakes. John will be welcomed back by me for sure."