Snooker World Championship postponed due to Covid-19 outbreak

Xiao Guodong of China competes during the Snooker UK Championship.

London,  The Snooker World Championship has been postponed due to the outbreak of coronavirus, the organisers announced on Friday.

The qualifying rounds of snooker’s biggest event were due to run from April 8 to 15 at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, followed by the final stages from April 18 to May 4 at the Crucible Theatre, Xinhua reported.

“The World Snooker Tour (WST) intends to host its final stages at the Crucible on rescheduled dates in July or August. This will be preceded by the qualifying rounds,” said the world snooker governing body in a statement released on its website.

WST Chairman Barry Hearn said that “these are tough times for everyone but we are determined to get through it. Fans around the world – as well as the 144 players involved – are anxious to know if and when the World Championship will go ahead. I can assure everyone that we are doing all we can alongside our broadcasters, the venues and other partners to confirm new dates as soon as possible.

“Snooker players are self-employed, they need opportunities to earn prize money so we have a responsibility to them. We are currently exploring the potential to stage tournaments behind closed doors to keep the circuit alive, with more details to follow next week.”