Mark Allen Defends Controversial Run-In With Referee At World Grand Prix

January 20, 2023
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Gary Connaughton ✍️

Mark Allen has come in for some heavy criticism for a run-in he had with a referee during his World Grand Prix victory over Jack Lisowski last night.

The Northern Irishman would emerge as a 5-4 winner after what was controversial match, with the way he interacted official Proletina Velichkova not going down well in some quarters.

In the fourth frame, Allen was put in a difficult position after his opponent played an excellent safety shot. He did not make contact with a red in attempt to play out of the predicament, with the referee awarding Lisowski a free ball after the cue ball nestled up near the brown. This would have left Lisowski a straightforward shot on the green and in a very strong position to win the frame.

Allen objected to this decision. What followed was eight minutes of debate between the referee and players, with Lisowski eventually agreeing to have the balls replaced and let Allen take the shot again.

While he would fail to hit a red again, a free ball was not called on this occasion. You can watch the incident below.

Lisowski became visibly frustrated during this period and seemed to lose his composure in the match. He would go on lose by the slimmest of margins.

Allen came in for some heavy criticism as a result of this incident, as well as employing what seemed to be a deliberately slow pace in order to put off his opponent.

Mark Allen defends run-in with referee

While Mark Allen has been condemned for his behaviour during this game, he believes he did nothing wrong.

Taking to social media, he said he was within his rights to question the referee's decision and was ultimately proven correct in doing so. He also dismissed the notion that he played at a slow pace in order to put off his opponent.

Speaking on ITV after the game, Neal Foulds said such a debate with a referee would not have gone down well in previous eras. Stephen Hendry also said the move was a questionable one, even if it did work.

Mark Allen faced Noppon Saengkham in the semi-finals of the competition later that evening.

SEE ALSO: Mark Selby Could Only Apologise After Giving Referee Nightmare Task At The Masters

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