Snooker News – 19 January 2023

This is a kind of “low key” post as I must confess that what was revealed yesterday regarding the match fixing enquiry has been affecting me.

In relation to that, WST has announced changes in the draw of upcoming events. Nothing unexpected here of course.

Updated German And Shoot Out Draws

The draws for the BetVictor Shoot Out and BetVictor German Masters have been updated.

Zhao Xintong has been withdrawn from the BetVictor German Masters in Berlin, and his opponent Tom Ford will receive a bye into the next round.

Click here for the updated draw
Click here for the updated format

Zhao Xintong and Zhang Jiankang have been withdrawn from the BetVictor Shoot Out, and replaced with a straight swap in the draw with the next available players on the Q School 2022 Order of Merit. Zhao Xintong is replaced by Haydon Pinhey and Zhang Jiankang is replaced by Michael Georgiou.

Click here for the updated draw

There was actually one good news coming out today

Jessie May Donation Boosted To £15,000

WST has decided to increase its donation to official charity Jessie May Children’s Hospice at Home to £15,000, based on the number of century breaks made at the Cazoo Masters.

Before the tournament at Alexandra Palace started, WST pledged £500 for every century up to a maximum of £10,000. But the final century tally was 30 and WST will now donate the full total based on £500 per century, which is £15,000.

Bristol-based charity Jessie May provides nursing care at home for children and young people with life limiting conditions who are not expected to live beyond the age of 19.

WST Chairman Steve Dawson said: “After such a fantastic Cazoo Masters tournament and a barrage of centuries, we have decided to boost the donation to Jessie May up to £15,000. We know what amazing work they do for vulnerable children and their families. The pandemic has really affected their funding and we urge everyone to have a look at what they do and dig deep to support them because private donations are vital to their future.”

Kim James-Coggins from Jessie May said: “All of the team at Jessie May are truly grateful for the support from WST. The impact your support has on our nurses and families is incredible.”

To find out more about Jessie May, visit jessiemay.org.uk

I’m glad that WST took that decision considering that many families, especially the most “vulnerable” ones, continue to suffer from the combined effects of the pandemic and the Brexit induced economic crisis in the UK. There is nothing worse for a parent than to lose a child, or to raise a child knowing that their life expectancy is limited and every day is a struggle. Well done WST, well done the players who scored as many as they could.

As for the match fixing issue, I can only urge everyone to wait for the results of the hearing and the full facts before asking for “life bans” … What annoys me is that some of those taking the harsh stand are the same who regularly pleaded leniency for Stephen Lee, asking for him to be allowed back “because he has such a Rolls-Royce cue action”. There should be consistency, no matter the nationality of the players.

IF it is proven that some of the older players in that group lured/coerced their young compatriots into a match fixing scheme, yes, they should get a life ban and should be sent back to China with no possibility to return to the UK or anywhere in Europe. Not just because of the match fixing, but more importantly because the vile betrayal of confidence. I’m sure that many parents of Chinese teenagers sent to the UK to play professionally were glad to know that their kids weren’t alone and that older, more experienced fellow citizens would be there for them. It’s only normal. It would be the same for UK parents if their teenagers were sent to live as ex-pats in Asia. That betrayal, above all, IF true, is unforgivable.

Snooker will survive. Cycling survived the countless doping scandals. The Tour the France is still watched by millions. Formula One survived despite the terrible decisions that deprived Lewis Hamilton. A couple of heads fell and the circus goes on. Snooker is much cleaner than most sports, especially those that attract the BIG money.

2 thoughts on “Snooker News – 19 January 2023

  1. And in cycling, I think, there was a time when everyone knew there was doping and nobody did something against it. The opposite was the case: There was a competition to see who was the most successful at doping. Snooker takes the matter seriously in my eyes and wants to nip such things in the bud. But of course the betting heritage will stay also with the sport as it is, like it or not, UK-based.

  2. You are probably right, Monique. I even have to smile a bit when u compare the doping scandal to this recent affair because, ok, in snooker a doping scandal is unlikely, but still, this issue still feels not that bad as the doping scandal at all, because I guess we all expect to get to know the truth somehow because there will be evidence. In cycling we will never how big doping actually was and still is because of the lack of this evidence.

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