Snooker monopoly challenged

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Snooker's warring factions come face-to-face in the High Court today for a case that could have far-reaching implications for other sports.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association's allegedly monopolistic hold on the game is being challenged by Scottish-based internet management group 110sport.

At stake is the WPBSA's exclusive right to grant ranking status to events. The body has already abandoned its rule that prohibits members competing in unsanctioned events – allowing independent promoters to negotiate sponsorship and television coverage – and hopes this concession will be enough to head off the court action, which could take up to six weeks.

110sport has 26 players in its stable including Stephen Hendry and the world No 1, Mark Williams. The WPBSA's line-up includes the world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan and the UK title holder John Higgins.