"It's an absolute joke" - Snooker fans go potty as ticket sales for 2018 World Championships in Sheffield are disrupted due to Crucible website issues

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Snooker fans were going potty this morning when tickets for the 2018 World Snooker Championships in Sheffield went on sale... and The Crucible's website crashed under the demand.

Tickets for next year's World Championships were supposed to go on sale at 9am this morning, the concluding day of the 2017 final between John Higgins and defending champion Mark Selby.

But with many fans reporting issues with the website, the Crucible acknowledged a problem; and confirmed at 9.55am that, due to "a technical difficulty", ticket sales had been suspended.

"We are extremely sorry to report that due to a technical difficulty, we have experienced a significant problem with the sales for the World Snooker Championship 2018," fans were told in a message.

"We have taken online sales down temporarily whilst we resolve the issue. There are seats allocated to online sales which will only be made available to people purchasing in this way."

Tickets eventually did go on sale online at noon. One fan, Steve Doughty, said: "After two hours and 50 minutes, I have tickets. Crucible Theatre and World Snooker, you have got to do better than this."

Another, Rachael Pearce, said she had waited for two hours in the online "queue" - and had moved from 15,000th in line, to 7,000th.

While Liam Henton said: "The booking system is an absolute joke. No tickets left after six and a half hours? Farce."

Tickets for the last session of the 2018 final are already sold out, as are both sessions of the final on May 6, two semi-final sessions and one quarter-final.

The Crucible added: "Once again, we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience that this caused and thank fans for bearing with us."