| 12.2°C Dublin

fans return What snooker fans are being asked to do to attend the World Championships

Close

Ronnie O'Sullivan chalks the cue as spectators wearing face masks watch on during the Betfred World Snooker Championship. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Ronnie O'Sullivan chalks the cue as spectators wearing face masks watch on during the Betfred World Snooker Championship. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Ronnie O'Sullivan chalks the cue as spectators wearing face masks watch on during the Betfred World Snooker Championship. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Snooker fans have returned to The Crucible theatre in Sheffield for the opening day of the World Championships, giving a glimpse of what might be ahead as sport looks to get spectators back at events.

Fans are being asked to be tested for Covid-19 on either the day of or the day before the session they are attending, they will also have to take a test five days after.

With sanitiser stations provided around the venue, fans had their tickets scanned before sitting in designated seats socially distanced.

The venue in Sheffield could be up to 33 per cent full on the first day of the tournament and the hope is that a capacity crowd of 980 people will attend the final on May 3.

A lot depends on the results of the UK Government’s pilot events, which are being used to help England and sport out of lockdown.

World Snooker Tour chairman Barry Hearn admitted the pressure was on, he told BBC Sport: “It’s important we are successful.

“We are sending out a message to all other indoor sports, cinemas, theatres. The data that comes from this is going to be vital to getting to the land of milk and honey of normality.”

Close

A general view of play during the Round One match between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Joyce at Crucible Theatre, with fans in attendance as part of a Government pilot event. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

A general view of play during the Round One match between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Joyce at Crucible Theatre, with fans in attendance as part of a Government pilot event. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

A general view of play during the Round One match between Ronnie O'Sullivan and Mark Joyce at Crucible Theatre, with fans in attendance as part of a Government pilot event. (Photo by George Wood/Getty Images)

Snooker fans briefly returned to the theatre in July before a second wave of coronavirus cases in this country saw the sport back behind closed doors.

Defending world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan has expressed some concerns over the return of spectators amid his concerns over the spread of the virus, as he suggested life will not return to normal for "a long time".

"I'm not fine with people coming close to me, I'm just really not, and I would kick off,” he told Sporting Life.

"You get these crazy fans and people putting those autograph (books) in front of you and coming and wanting a selfie. And if I don't get a level of protection or feel safe in Sheffield, I'm not sure I would feel comfortable being there.

"Hopefully, the players get a little bit of protection from World Snooker so we don't have to fend off over-excited fans or someone who might have had a drink that wants to get in your space."

Sunday World Newsletter

Sign up for the latest news and updates

This field is required This field is required

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices

Online Editors


Top Videos





Privacy