SNOOKER Bookmakers advised to return stakes

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The Independent Online

The Betting Office Licensees' Association has advised its members to declare void all bets taken on the first-round match between Jimmy White and Peter Francisco in the Embassy World Championship at Sheffield last month.

A statement issued today by Tom Kelly, director general of the BOLA, recommended that bookmakers should return all stakes to punters.

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association was tipped off about betting irregularities on the match which suggested White would win 10-2 - the correct score - and launched an investigation.

This resulted in Francisco being banned from the sport for five years for his failure to conduct himself during the match in a manner "consistent with his status as a professional sportsman".

BOLA, who originally advised bookmakers to withold payment on bets, now say both winners and losers should have their stakes refunded.