In recent weeks, most major and even minor sports events have been cancelled across the globe due to the current outbreak of Coronavirus / Covid19. This also applies to the world of snooker, although some tournaments have actually been played. Continue reading this article for an overview of how Coronavirus affects snooker.
Current status (per March 20, 2020)
As of March 20, 2020, the Coral Tour Championship which should have been played this week in the Welsh seaside resort of Llandudno, has been postponed until this summer. It will instead be played from July 21 to 26. Tickets will be transferred automatically to the rescheduled dates, or they can be refunded by contacting the Venue Cymru box office after April 1.
In contrast, the 2020 European Snooker Championships for amateurs is taking place as planned in the Portuguese seaside town of Albufeira. This is done despite heavy criticism from players and commentators, and in total ignorance of the fact that Portugal closed its borders partially on Tuesday, March 17. On March 18, a state of emergency was declared. The editor of the European Billiards and Snooker Association website seems to be blissfully unaware of these facts, and they write about the championship as if the outside world does not exist.
Returning to events organised by WST, the one-day Challenge Tour Play-off for one of the coveted two-year cards for the World Snooker Tour was scheduled to be played on March 29 in Clacton on Sea. It has now been postponed until further notice.
And then there is the question on everybody’s mind: What will happen to the 2020 Betfred World Championship? Well, the qualifiers were scheduled to be played from Apr 8 to 15, with the main tournament taking place in Sheffield’s Crucible Theatre from April 18 to May 4. On March 20, World Snooker announced that the 2020 Snooker World Championship will be postponed until July or August. Prior to this, it also emerged that Sheffield Theatres (including the Crucible) has cancelled all performances until at least April 5. Considering the current development and spread of the Coronavirus, this seems like the proper decision. Even if played with closed doors, playing the tournament would expose players, refs, other officials and technicians to the coronavirus, and it would probably also be in violation of government guidelines. The exact dates for the 2020 World Championship have yet to be fixed, as World Snooker is currently negotiating with the BBC and other broadcasters.