Snooker: Snooker chief Barry Hearn attacks Mark Williams and Mark Allen for their outbursts


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The Independent Online

Mark Allen will face disciplinary action after branding his opponent, Cao Yupeng, a cheat at the World Championship after his first-round defeat on Sunday.

The former Crucible semi-finalist could even be banned from the sport as Barry Hearn, the World Snooker chairman, is keen to teach him a lesson for what he described as "stupid" remarks.

Allen was also in trouble earlier this season when he called Chinese people "ignorant" and said that the World Open tournament in Beijing was "horrendous" and "stinks". Ironically, Allen went on to win that event for a first ranking title.

"This is a zero-tolerance stance," said Hearn. "The players will be well-advised to listen to my words. It's a question of how far do we go so the players understand their responsibility to the game? The normal rules of law apply, it's a fine, a potential suspension or a ban. Now is a very good time to be a snooker player, it's not a good time to be an idiot."

The Welshman Mark Williams, the two-time world champion, last week used Twitter to call the Crucible Theatre a "sh*thole". He is also likely to be fined for his remarks.

Hearn said: "Mark Allen's and Mark Williams's remarks are unacceptable to World Snooker and as such both players will face disciplinary action. It's time that these people learn. Prize money has more than doubled in two years and that comes at a price – it's called professionalism. Any player that decides to ignore the player's contract he signs to take advantage of the new benefits of snooker [is] risking their position on the main tour.

"If Mark [Allen] is found guilty of being in breach of his player's contract, then I'd expect a more serious fine. Mark has had problems at the World Open [after the remarks he made] on Twitter and he's had problems with none-appearance at PR opportunities, so there comes to a stage when enough is enough. In Mark Williams's case, well he's a double world champion, so I expect some common sense."

Yesterday, Scotland's Stephen Maguire beat the Belgian prodigy Luca Brecel 10-5 and the triple world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan took a 7-2 lead over Peter Ebdon. Shaun Murphy, the 2005 champion, squandered a 7-5 lead in a shock 10-8 defeat by the qualifier Jamie Jones.