Tournament in Sheffield: Englishman Wilson snooker world champion – division threatens

Tournament in Sheffield: Englishman Wilson snooker world champion – division threatens

Kyren Wilson is crowned snooker world champion after 17 days of tournament. But behind the scenes there is a battle over the direction of the sport. The stars of the scene disagree.

In the orange and white confetti shower of Sheffield everything looked as usual. The new snooker world champion Kyren Wilson celebrated the greatest triumph of his career with the silver trophy and his beaming sons Finley and Bradley. “My mom and dad took out a mortgage and sacrificed their entire lives to bring me here. So did my brother and my wife. The list goes on and on, it’s a huge team effort,” Wilson said after the 6:14 p.m. Victory over Welsh underdog Jak Jones.

“This is something that no one can ever take away from me. This will stay with me for the rest of my life,” said an emotional Wilson, who fought back tears at the Crucible Theater. The 32-year-old title holder proudly said that he had “sold his soul in a good way” to this sport.

“Something with history and heritage”

Wilson is a calm world champion in troubled times. The soul and, above all, the future direction of the sport of snooker were a recurring topic and controversially discussed over the past 17 days of the World Cup in Sheffield. In view of potential external donors, the gentleman’s sport is threatened with a split, as golf has already experienced in recent years.

Former world champion Judd Trump reported during the World Cup about a competitive offer that was made to him a few months ago. Trump declined and said through his brother that he was “not interested in it in the slightest.” The snooker star explained his loyalty to World Snooker: “I’m very happy where I am. I need something with history and heritage. I need something to play for.”

The world association is even prepared to compromise. Professionals should be allowed to play in other profitable tournaments within a twelve-week period as long as they do not conflict with World Snooker events. It is clear that “the monopoly position we have is not right for the current market in which we operate,” said snooker boss Barry Hearn. However, Hearn warned that you cannot benefit from the advantages of the world association and then take part in competing events that are taking place at the same time.

Contract with Sheffield ends in 2027

Seven-time champion Ronnie O’Sullivan – unlike Trump – has shown himself to be open to lucrative offers. “I want to be looked after, I want to be pampered. If you want to pamper me and look after me, I’m the right man for you. I’m here – best offer, talk to me,” said “The Rocket” in his usual open manner. After all, all players have families to feed. Even before the World Cup, O’Sullivan had caused a stir with his calls for the World Cup to be held in Saudi Arabia or China instead of in Sheffield as before.

The current contract with the Crucible runs until 2027, then 50 years of the World Cup in Sheffield would be complete. Snooker boss Hearn would like to stay, but the traditional location only has 980 spectator seats and an infrastructure that cannot keep up with competing locations. “There’s no point in saying: Oh, think about history. You can’t eat history,” Hearn said clearly at Eurosport. He denied that Riyadh had already been decided as an alternative. The capital in Saudi Arabia is “one option among many”.

World Cup participant complains about the smell

The Sheffield debate is also controversial. Scene experts like to point to the great tradition of the Snooker Palace. Irish former world champion Ken Doherty told the BBC: “Some things are sacred, have history and nostalgia. The Crucible Theater has all of that. I’m not a businessman, I’m a traditionalist.”

But the list of points of criticism is long – and does not only apply to the small sports facility. “Here you might get a good tea or a lasagna if they cook. But that’s it,” complained O’Sullivan about the service before the start of the World Cup.

His Iranian counterpart Hossein Vafaei was even more explicit during the tournament, saying: “You want to go somewhere really nice. When you walk around the Crucible, it smells really bad. I’ll be honest. Everything is so bad.” Would he want to come back? “No way.”

Source: Stern

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