Higgins wins a reprieve

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The Independent Online

Alex Higgins yesterday escaped a second brush with the authorities in the space of a week.

Earlier this week, the controversial Irishman was fined £5,000 and banned for one year by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association following a backstage incident at the Embassy World Championships this year. Both penalties were suspended for two years.

But yesterday the WPBSA's disciplinary committee decided not to punish Higgins again for calling the referee John Street "incompetent" at last month's Royal Liver Assurance Championships in Preston.

During his 23 years as a professional, 46-year-old Higgins has been fined a total of £23,200.