A protest by two activists caused the game to be interrupted and the World Snooker Championships in Sheffield to be postponed. A man jumped onto one of the two pool tables at the Crucible Theater in Sheffield on Monday night. First he destroyed the playing arrangement of the balls, then he hurled an orange powdery substance from a bag onto the table and covered the playing surface in an orange haze. The match between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry had begun there on the third evening of the tournament.
Former World Champion Stephen Hendry, who was a commentator for the BBC, said in a first reaction it was a “scary” incident and feared the cloth on the table might become unusable. “For me,” Hendry said, “as a snooker player, I immediately think, ‘Is the table recoverable?’ We don’t know what’s on that table.”
The game was initially interrupted and the table cleaned with a vacuum cleaner. It should then be covered with a fresh cloth. While it was initially said in the arena that the match should continue as soon as possible, the World Snooker Tour later announced that the first session between Milkins and Perry should now only begin this Tuesday evening.
In addition, a protester tried to get to the other table where the duel between Northern Ireland’s Mark Allen and China’s Fan Zhengyi was being played. This was prevented by the Belgian referee Olivier Marteel, who held the woman, as can be seen on a video. There, after a 40-minute break, the game between Allen and Zhengyi that started in the morning was continued. There is a partition between the two tables that can be removed.
The British activist group Just Stop Oil shared a video of the action on its Twitter account. According to the broadcaster Sky Sports, a 30-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman were arrested after the protest. Both wore white T-shirts, the man’s had the group’s name on it
“We demand that the government halt all new UK fossil fuel projects immediately and call on UK sporting institutions to engage in civil resistance to the government’s genocidal policies,” the group said of the aims of their action.