World Snooker Championship Interrupted by Protestors

World Snooker Championship Interrupted by Protestors

by Joseph Anthony

A ‘Just Stop Oil’ protestor halted the world snooker championship on Monday night after he climbed onto a table and scattered a bag of orange powder paint over the green cloth playing surface.

The BBC reported that another tried to glue herself to the event’s second table after emerging from the audience at Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre, with referee Olivier Marteel intervening.

Play between England’s Robert Milkens and Joe Perry on table one was suspended while the game featuring Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen and China’s Fan Zhengyi continued after a 40 minute delay with cleaners brought in.

World Snooker Tour said the vandalised table one would be reclothed overnight and the match rescheduled with the opening session on Tuesday evening and the concluding session on Thursday.

“This is the Crucible. The show will go on,” they said on Twitter.

Just Stop Oil named the protesters in a statement on the website as former museum professional Margaret Reid, 52, and Exeter university student Eddie Whittingham, 25.

It posted a clip on Twitter of the televised incident with the caption “NEW OIL AND GAS WILL SNOOKER US”.

The images showed a man in a white T-shirt with ‘Just Stop Oil’ leaping onto the table during the match and pulling out a bag containing the powder before being dragged away.

“I have never seen that before at a snooker event. It’s a first,” said seven-time world champion and BBC pundit Stephen Hendry.

“For me, straight away as a snooker player I am thinking: ‘Is the table recoverable?’ We don’t know what that is on the table.”

Just Stop Oil wants Britain to end all new oil and gas projects and has staged a number of protests including activists throwing soup over Vincent van Gogh’s painting “Sunflowers” at London’s National Gallery last October.

Activists also ran onto the track after an opening lap crash at last July’s British Formula One Grand Prix at Silverstone.

The snooker world championship is sponsored by British online car retailer Cazoo.

The incident came after Saturday’s annual Grand National horse race at Aintree, one of the country’s highest-profile sporting events, was delayed by animal rights protesters with 118 arrested.

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