Ronnie O'Sullivan receives clarity over referee warning following snooker final spat

May 1, 2022
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Dan Gibbs ✍️  

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O’Sullivan was not happy with the warning he received (Picture: PA/BBC)

Ronnie O’Sullivan received a warning from the referee over a gesture during a fiery final, the World Snooker Tour has confirmed.

The Rocket is closing in on a record equalling seventh Crucible title at the World Snooker Championships following a dominant performance over two sessions to hold a 12-5 lead over Judd Trump.

But one incident in particular had everyone confused and talking on social media after O’Sullivan had a disagreement with referee Olivier Marteel in the final frame of the first session.

The 46-year-old blast at the yellow off two cushions and hit the black in frustration before heading back to his chair before Marteel proceeded to head over to where O’Sullivan was sat, appearing to whisper some kind of warning to him.

‘You saw nothing. Don’t start,’ a frustrated O’Sullivan could be heard saying to the referee as he walked away.

A short World Snooker Tour statement said: ‘Ronnie O’Sullivan received a formal warning from the referee following a gesture he made in the eighth frame.’

The six-time world champion later denied any wrongdoing on his part in a short interview with Eurosport.

‘I just think he (Marteel) seems to be looking for trouble. I just get that vibe from the guy,’ he said.

‘They’ve got hundreds of cameras out there and they can go and check them all.

‘I’m not going to have any of it because I think he’s just trying to create something. He needs to deal with it, not me.’

The referee’s actions also didn’t appear to sit too well with Trump, who was frustrated at the referee’s decision to warn O’Sullivan before his own shot and disrupt his rhythm in the process.

O’Sullivan is already facing an investigation by the WPBSA disciplinary committee for allegedly making a lewd gesture after missing a black in his 10-5 first-round win over Dave Gilbert.

But for now the Rocket will be hoping to keep his cool when tomorrow’s session gets underway knowing he’s just six frames away from equalling Stephen Hendry’s record of seven Crucible titles.

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