Allen may face ban for 'cheat' claim

Published Monday, 23 April 2012
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Northern Ireland's Mark Allen has been told he could be banned over his claim that Chinese snooker players lack integrity.

Allen may face ban for 'cheat' claim
Mark Allen and Cao Yupeng at the World Championships in Sheffield on Sunday. (© PA)

The 26-year-old was back in the spotlight over the weekend after accusing Cao Yupeng - who he lost to in the first round of the World Championship - of dishonesty.

Allen said his opponent had failed to own up to a "blatant" push shot during their match's pivotal tenth frame and said he was "disgusted" with the 21-year-old's actions.

"I thought the big turning point in the match was at 5-4 when he was in the balls and Paul Collier, the referee, missed a blatant push," Allen said in the post-match press conference.

"It was quite obvious to me and anyone who was watching at home would have been able to see it."

We have the powers to do anything providing we've acted reasonably. It's a fine, a potential suspension, or a ban.

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn

He then went on to question the sportsmanship of Chinese players in general - having already caused offence in the country this season over comments made during the World Open, which he went on to win.

"It seems to be a bit of a trait for the Chinese players because there've been instances in the past, of fouls and blatant cheating going on. It needs to be corrected," Allen added on Sunday.

"I'm disgusted that it happened. It shouldn't happen in professional sport."

World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn has said disciplinary chiefs will be dealing with Allen's remarks seriously, and will be taking a "zero tolerance" approach.

"This is a very good time to be a snooker player," Hearn said. "It's not a good time to be an idiot.

"Everywhere we go, these players are ambassadors of snooker. They're chaperones of the image of the game.

"In major expanding markets, and there's no doubt China is that, big time, they have to bear the responsibility of those comments and the potential loss - not to themselves or whether they don't get a visa, but the potential loss to the game in general and the desire for the rest of the players to earn a living playing their chosen sport.

"They have responsibility at every level and it concerns me that sometimes it's a case that the mouth is functioning but the brain has not been consulted."

The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) have confirmed they will be writing to Allen to initiate disciplinary proceedings.

WPBSA chairman Jason Ferguson said: "The WPBSA is responsible for the governance of snooker worldwide and takes very seriously comments made which could be perceived to be directed at a particular nation.

"The chairman of the disciplinary committee Nigel Mawer is making further inquiries into this incident. Mark Allen will be given 14 days to respond to the letter."

Meanwhile Cao, shocked by the accusations, spoke out through a translator.

"I was just focusing on playing. I didn't realise if I had fouled. If I fouled, I say sorry. If I didn't foul, and Mark said that, then I would feel very upset and angry," he said.

Allen's comments, which he has since defended on Twitter, are to be closely examined by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association.

"I feel I'm quite entitled to say what I did as what I was saying had fact to back it up," he insisted.

But he added: "I underperformed and Cao played very well and was deserving of his victory - if anyone listened to my interview they hear that!"

Allen has also said he is now closing his Twitter account over the aggro he's received.

© UTV News
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15 Comments
downjag in Bangor wrote (913 days ago):
Tomc is so right about Hearn and money being king in snooker being king. "Do it my way or suffer the consequences" seems to be the order of the day. Maybe the Chinese players are not aware of how to conduct yourself in the world snooker circuit, with regard to the unwritten calling fouls against yourself if missed by the referee, but if they wish to compete at that level they should be aware and adhere to it. Sad days when people can't express their honest views about their sport, same as football managers can't legitimately criticise referees without being fined etc. Just too much money slushing about in sport and those running it are not going to let their huge slice be jeopardised!
Matthew in Ulster wrote (913 days ago):
As a keen snooker player and enthusiast. It appears to me that although snooker is heading in the right direction under Barry Hearn. He is stifling his biggest characters in the game at a time when snooker bitterly needs them. Notably "Allens comments regarding accomodation and other conditions in China" and also it seems that Mark Williams is to face disciplinary for stating that he hates the crucible." Are snooker players not allowed to express an opinion. As for Mark Allen's comments after his recent defeat at the crucible. Unfortunately, it was a case that he was always going to be seen as the bad guy for rightfully stating that the young Chinese player did cheat in frame 10. As a player in those circumstances the player is very aware of the foul that occurred. In snooker the vast majority of players are very quick to admit to a foul, which i think is one of the greatest shows of sportsmanship in modern day sport. Sadly Cao Yupeng has managed to hide his foul and has got away with it. Hopefully he gets his just reward and is heavily beaten in the next round!
s magowan in belfast wrote (913 days ago):
After watching a re-run of the incident the chinese player definately played a foul shot and he should have declared it.Bad sportsmanship on his part.
Tomc in Belfast wrote (914 days ago):
Scapegoat!!! Barry Hearn has a brass neck. If the conditions in China weren't good, then why shouldn't he voice his opinion? If the player didn't own up to a foul, then why shouldn't he voice his opinion? But then that's right profit is king within snooker these days, not whether you can actually play the game. Today snooker is full of dull, boring corporate sponsored automatons, which is why it's viewing fgures are down and it's players not known outside of the game. The guy hasn't been racist, he hasn't been abusive, but he may have impacted the coin that the dusty has beens see in the emerging opportunity of the polluted developing country that is China.
mark fan in ards wrote (914 days ago):
the thing is he did a foul shot and the ref did not notice it, mark is right to point this out, i recall when he did the same a while ago and he said to the ref what he had done.
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