Judd Trump blasts ‘selfish’ Ronnie O’Sullivan over World Championship coronavirus row


Ronnie O’Sullivan should withdraw from this year’s World Snooker Championship if he has genuine coronavirus concerns, according to defending champion Judd Trump.

O’Sullivan has said players are being treated like ‘lab rats’ over the decision to allow a limited of number of spectators into the Crucible.

Anthony Hamilton, who has severe asthma, withdrew on Thursday and defending champions Trump thinks ‘The Rocket’ should follow suit.

He also called the duo ‘selfish’ for not pulling out earlier and giving other players a chance.

“I have been around the game long enough to know that if there is a World Championship coming up, he [O’Sullivan] is going to try to get the headlines,” said Trump.



Judd Trump won last year’s tournament, defeating John Higgins in the final

“Of all people, Ronnie is probably the only one who doesn’t need the money, so I find it quite hard that he can enter it and have a go at what is going on. Just pull out and let someone else have a go.”

O’Sullivan had expressed sympathy for Hamilton, who battled through two qualifying matches to reach the Crucible.

Hamilton, 49, had called the move to allow fans in – which makes the World Championship the first and so far only indoor event to do so since the lockdown – ‘ridiculous’.



Ronnie O’Sullivan has come under fire for his comments

“I find it very hard on the other people that he has taken the opportunity from – I think this was announced with enough time to know there was going to be a crowd at this tournament,” added Trump.

“There is a lot of money to be played for in this tournament. A lot of low-ranked players struggle to put food on the table and especially with things going on, you’ve got to try to earn a living.

“People need to think of the bigger picture sometimes and try not to be selfish and give others the opportunity to provide as well.”

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Players will have Covid-19 tests before their first-round and quarter-final matches, while their seats inside the arena will be separated by plastic screens.

Around 300 fans will be allowed inside the venue and those that have booked tickets to attend will be placed in ‘bubbles’ of up to four people – limited to a maximum of two households – and will be socially distanced from others in the arena, with no spectators in the front row.





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