World Snooker Championship will be stopped on Sunday due to govt alert

Snooker: Bingtao breaks ‘unwritten rule’ during win

The World Snooker Championship is set to be temporarily paused on Sunday to avoid an emergency government alert disrupting play. Referees will reportedly be asked to halt proceedings at an appropriate moment, while football authorities are also planning to take action.

The government are preparing to send a message to all 4G and 5G-capable phones at 3pm on Sunday afternoon as part of a system test, which will spark a siren-like sound from mobile phones, even if they are placed on silent.

If all goes according to schedule, Mark Selby’s clash with Gary Wilson and Anthony McGill’s encounter with Jack Lisowski will be underway at the Crucible by the time play is paused. It remains to be seen whether the tournament’s biggest name, Ronnie O’Sullivan, is still in with a shot of winning title number eight by that point as he faces Hossein Vafaei on Friday.

Premier League clubs are also set to warn supporters through stadium announcements, with Bournemouth vs West Ham and Newcastle vs Tottenham both scheduled to be approaching the second half by the time of the alert.

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According to The Daily Mail, Crucible MC Rob Walker is set to ask snooker fans in attendance to switch off their phones, which is the only way to avoid receiving the alert. However, with over 900 supporters expected to attend, organisers are well aware that not everyone will listen to the advice.

They have therefore decided to take action, with the planned stoppage poised to last for fewer than two minutes. While play in Sheffield is heating up, headlines have also been made by the protests which disrupted two matches earlier this week.

A student protester forced Monday’s showdown between Rob Milkins and Joe Perry to be abandoned after breaking into the playing area and throwing orange powder paint on the baize. Another attempted to climb onto the table in the adjacent match between Mark Allen and Fan Zhengyi, but the referee pulled her away just in time.

World Snooker owner Barry Hearn is reportedly prepared to fund legal action on behalf of the 400 fans in attendance when the matches were interrupted. The 74-year-old was said to be ‘furious’ at how supporters were inconvenienced, and he is prepared to underwrite civil actions against the protester.

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