World Snooker Championships re...


World Snooker Championships rescheduled for July 31 start

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This year's World Snooker Championships have been rescheduled for the Crucible Theatre starting on July 31. 

Running until August 16, the new dates are subject to British government policy regarding COVID-19.

Sheffield's Crucible Theatre holds 1,000 spectators for snooker's annual showpiece, and World Snooker are willing to make some concessions to have the competition go ahead.

They say they are willing to reduce the theatre's capacity, or play behind closed doors if required.

World Snooker are also maintaining the option of postponing again to a later date.

WST chairman Barry Hearn said, "It is crucial for our 128 tour players to know that we are doing everything we can to get our circuit going again as soon as it is considered safe to do so by the government.

"The players are self-employed and they need opportunities to earn, while we keep the health and safety of everyone involved in an event of this scale as a priority".

This year's tournament was originally due to run from April 18 to May 4, but was one of the countless sporting events suspended due to coronavirus.

"In recent weeks we have had intricate negotiations with our key broadcasters including the BBC and Eurosport as well as the Crucible itself and Sheffield City Council", Hearn added.

"I would like to express my gratitude to all of them as we have progressed to a solution.

“Our sincere hope is that we are able to play the tournament with a full crowd as usual. This event means so much to the fans who have a golden ticket for the Crucible experience, and to the people of Sheffield.

"The players will desperately want to compete in the atmosphere that only a packed Crucible can generate."

“However if that is not possible then we will give careful consideration to each scenario."

The top 16 seeds earn an automatic place at the Crucible, and they will be joined by the 16 players who come through the qualifying rounds.

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