WPBSA board member Peter Lines controversially remains in two key positions on the governing body despite being fined over an ugly incident with Xiao Guodong.
The 52-year-old from Leeds was on Friday found guilty of two breaches of behaviour rules by an independent panel – stemming from an August Northern Ireland qualifier against Xiao.
Lines, who first turned pro in 1991, was fined £2,500 and made to pay almost £5,500 in costs for breaking rules on player conduct, and also bringing the game into disrepute.
That came after a flashpoint during the match over the replacement of the white ball following a ‘foul and miss’ award against Xiao by top referee Brendan Moore.
China’s Xiao, 32, and his management team claimed that Lines then asked him “outside for a fight” following a 4-3 loss amid a four-letter outburst and claiming his opponent had cheated.
And that resulted in a formal complaint to World Snooker Tour for “abuse received” by the former Shanghai Masters and Shootout finalist.
Before this meltdown current world No82 Lines, a former ranking-event semi-finalist, had enjoyed a blemish-free career – and his work with the WPBSA has been much praised.
But there are serious question marks whether Lines remains an appropriate member of both boards at the WPBSA – one dealing with players, and the other with governance.
If a snooker player is offered outside for a fight, should they be allowed to use their cues? Comment below
WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said: “At this time Peter has not expressed any intention to step down from his positions with the WPBSA.
“It is the members that elected him to those positions and only the members can demand that he be removed from them.”
A World Snooker Tour statement added: “After a complaint made to the WPBSA by WST and another Member, Peter Lines was charged with breaches of the WPBSA Members Rules following his match with Xiao Guodong at the 2021 Northern Ireland Open Qualifiers.
“The allegation was that Mr Lines took issue with Mr Xiao over incidents in this match.
“After the match Mr Lines confronted Mr Xiao in the Players Lounge at the venue and accused him of cheating and swore at him.
“As Mr Lines was removed from the lounge by security, he asked Mr Xiao to go outside with him. Mr Xiao said he was in fear that he was going to be attacked by Mr Lines.
“Soon after the incident Mr Lines apologised to Mr Xiao for his conduct after the match.
“The virtual hearing was attended by Mr Lines who accepted the facts in part.
“In making their decision on sanction the Committee took into account the early apology made by Mr Lines to Mr Xiao and Mr Lines’ unblemished career in snooker.
“Following the disciplinary hearing, the Committee decided that the appropriate sanction was a fine of £2,500.Mr Lines was further ordered to pay costs of £5,464.20 in costs.”
Lines was not available for comment.