Update on Chinese players withdrawing from the World Qualifiers

Yesterday, one Chinese friend posted on twitter about Zhou Yuelong, Xiao Guodong, and Zhang Jiankang not having applied for their visa, hence effectively withdrawing from the WC qualifiers.


Today, the same person added that more than 10 Chinese players had withdrawn, adding the following names to the list:

Chang Bingyu, Li Hang, Mei Xiwen, Zhang Anda, Chen Zifan, Xu Si, Bai Langning, Zhao Xintong and Lei Peifan.

And, of course, Marco Fu also withdrew a couple of weeks ago.

Luo Honghao who is currently in his second year and ranked 62, will surely do everything in his power to be there. He’s not guaranteed to succeed though. Zhang Anda, ranked 72, had a decent chance to stay on tour, but, if the above is confirmed will now be relegated.

Ding doesn’t need to qualify. So that’s 13 out of 22 who opted out, and I’m certain that, for most of them, it was not a light-hearted decision .

This is alas, exactly what I feared. The “World” Snooker Tour becoming actually a UK Snooker Tour more than ever next season. And if China loses interest in snooker, the sport will suffer financially. Big time.

4 thoughts on “Update on Chinese players withdrawing from the World Qualifiers

  1. Luo Honghao will travel with Ding – this I knew already. But their flight in on 9th July, which is very late for Luo. Being ranked 62, he might have to play on 23rd July, 13 days after arriving!

    There are 12 cancellations, but 10 confirmed players from China (plus possibly Yuan Sijun, who is waiting for his VISA). This is better than I expected, which I think is pretty good considering the circumstances. The worst case scenario could have been 19 identical statements “we are advised to stay in China for safety”, and then some fudge to allow Ding to take up his place. I think WPBSA have done well to get this many. I’m not in touch with any of the Thai players who also have to overcome similar challenges.

    Unfortunately it does mean Zhang Anda’s relegation, and he has said that he is considering retirement. Zhang Jiankang’s 2 years were continually interrupted by travelling problems, including the World Championships last year. Several other players, such as Mei Xiwen, Li Hang and all of the younger players could be in relegation trouble in 2021, especially if they miss several tournaments.

    • Yuan Sijun now withdrew as well according to grinning. Surely WPBSA could and should find a way to allow Luo to play?

      • If Luo arrives here on the 10th July, his 14-day quarantine would last until 24th, which leaves 5 days for potentially 3 matches to be played. They can surely fix the schedule to make it happen.

        At the moment there are 16 withdrawals (13 Chinese, Ebdon, Fu, Wattana). There are also 2 Chinese amateurs and 4 Thai players, plus a few others (Ng On Yee, Cody Turner, Amine Amiri, Steve Mifsud,…) who must be in doubt. Who knows, Hamilton might decide not to make the dangerous journey? This is far too many to be able to fill the draw – there will be byes in the L144 round

        With 16+ withdrawals, there will be no professional clashes in the L144. If 32 players withdraw, it won’t even be necessary to have a L144 round. Either way, the schedule (8 tables?) can be simplified.

      • From what I read on twitter – source is Nikolay, usually reliable – Misfud hasn’t entered. The Thai players – except Wattana – will travel, omly Akani still waiting for his visa but intending to play.

Comments are closed.