Snooker match-fixing hearing to clash with World Championship
This year’s World Snooker Championship at the Crucible will take place in the shadow of an independent disciplinary hearing involving the 10 players who are currently suspended on charges relating to match-fixing.
Snooker’s world governing body, the WPBSA, has confirmed that the hearing, chaired by Ian Mill KC, will start on April 24, the second Monday of the 17-day tournament which culminates in the champion being crowned on May 1.
Former UK champion Zhao Xintong and ex-Masters champion Yan Bingtao are among the 10 Chinese players who face a range of charges that could result in them being handed lengthy bans from the sport.
The WPBSA confirmed in a statement: “The players will remain suspended until the outcome of the Independent Disciplinary Hearing is published.
“They will therefore not participate in any remaining World Snooker Tour events during the 2022/23 season, including the 2023 World Snooker Championship.”
Zhao, who is currently ranked number nine in the world, is the only one of the suspended players who would ordinarily have been granted an automatic place in the first round of the tournament.
He faces charges of being concerned in fixing matches on the tour, and betting on snooker, while Yan has been charged with fixing matches and betting on snooker.
The other players facing charges are Liang Wenbo, Li Hang, Lu Ning, Zhang Jiankang, Chen Zifan, Chang Bingyu, Zhao Jianbo and Bai Langning.