After the protest by climate activists at the World Snooker Championships, the police arrested the two suspected troublemakers. A man and a woman were initially to remain in custody. The tournament in Sheffield, meanwhile, continued with increased security and bag checks. The police announced that they would investigate the incident on Monday evening and initiate investigations against the protesters.
On the third night of the tournament, a man jumped onto one of the tables at the Crucible Theater during the encounter between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry. From a bag he spread an orange powdery substance on the table. A woman tried to get onto the other table. However, the Belgian referee Olivier Marteel prevented this by arresting the protesters. The activist group Just Stop Oil claimed responsibility for the disruption online.
“You don’t expect that anywhere, especially here,” Perry told the BBC. “I didn’t even know what was going on at first. When it was over I tried to relax but it was a bit unsettling at first.” The match against Milkins was set to resume on Tuesday night. “The delay is a bit strange, but we have to deal with that,” said Perry.
Former executive director of the world snooker association Barry Hearn expressed his dismay at the disruptive action and spoke out in favor of harsh penalties. “They didn’t get any message across, they’re just annoying,” Hearn said on BBC 5 Live. “The snooker players are in the sports and entertainment business. Our job is entertainment. Please let us do our job.”
Two days earlier, animal rights activists had delayed the start of the storied Grand National horse race as they entered the circuit. The group Just Stop Oil had previously attempted to chain themselves to goalposts during Premier League games and was caught at last year’s Formula 1 race at Silverstone.