Chairman of World Snooker Barry Hearn has said that the protestors who disrupted the World Snooker Championships on Monday night committed a ‘form of theft’.
Two individuals caused chaos last night in the first round of the championships at the iconic Crucible Theatre in Sheffield with one of them mounting the table before discharging orange powder – leading to the table needing reclothing.
“In my mind, it didn’t do their cause anything but harm,” Hearn said. “They’re not making a point at all. They’re just disruptive and when protest is so disruptive that it stops people getting value for money and having bought tickets, they are robbed of that opportunity. It is a form of theft.”
A 25-year-old man and 52-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage over the incident, according to South Yorkshire Police.
Hearn added: “Sport’s an easy target. Aintree we saw on Saturday… How long before The Open or Wimbledon or whatever?
“We’re such a soft touch as a nation – smack their wrists, give them a small fine, maybe a bit of community hours, maybe a month in prison. It’s a ludicrous situation but what do you do about it?”
The World Snooker Championship continues today.