Well, well … this is not the best start of the snooker season
It seems that a rather high number of players will not be able to make it to Riga, or anyway not in time for their scheduled matches. Amongst them the defending champion, Neil Robertson, plus Duanes Jones, Joe O’Connor and Louis Heathcote. Neil on twitter was hinting that they were about 15 of them due to fly together …
Here is Duane Jones Facebook account of what happened:
Well I can’t believe what’s happened tonight, I was meant to fly to riga in Latvia at 6:50pm this evening to play in the riga masters tomorrow afternoon, checks in at the airport and puts my bags through then boards the plane. While waiting for take off we got told a plane has burst a tyre while landing in the airport and there is a delay as the airport had to clear all the debris off the runway before anymore planes could takeoff/land, 2 hours later we are still on the runway waiting and after the debris were cleared we then had a further 2 hours delay as a electrical storm as hit the flight path over continental Europe so we had to wait for it to clear before we could leave and all flights were grounded until further notice. So after 4 hours waiting on the plane to take off we then could told to leave the plane until further information. Another two hours waiting and we get told that the flight is cancelled and we need to re-arrange another one 😂😂 no other flights can get me and the other pros on board to our matches in time from Luton or any other airport in the uk. So no riga masters for me this year and too top it off it’s 1:33am and I got a lovely 3 hour drive back to South Wales 🏴 I cant write my luck sometimes, shoot me now
That’s very unfortunate on so many accounts!
Of course it’s very unfortunate for the players affected. They will certainly get their points and money from their first match – Jason Ferguson already got in touch with them – but the opportunity to earn more is gone.
But it’s also very bad for the Riga Masters itself, one of the very few mainland Europe based tournaments still confirmed in the calendar. If Neil’s tweet is to be trusted that’s more than 1 in 4 player forced to withdraw from the event due to circumstances beyond their control. It’s not going to do the future’s hopes of the tournament any good.
At the time of writing the matches are still scheduled on WS website. Only the indication of which are on television is gone. But I can’t see how they can solve the issue …