Top snooker player calls for World Championships to be moved away from the Crucible

Ali Carter has called on snooker chiefs to move the historic competition away from Sheffield, saying it should be held at London’s Alexandra Palace instead.

Thursday, 16th January 2020, 3:18 pm
Updated Friday, 17th January 2020, 3:23 pm

The world No17, who takes on John Higgins in the Masters quarter-finals at Alexandra Palace today (January 16), has said that the 2,200-seater London venue should also host the World Championships.

He said that although “Sheffield is a special place for snooker” the capacity of Alexandra Palace – almost double that of The Crucible - and the luxury of the venue means it should host more top snooker events.

Speaking to The Sun Carter, 40, said: “This is what the World Championship should be like. I know Sheffield is a special place and is the home of snooker.

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"But do you stay at home all your life or do you move on and try and do other things. Maybe we adapt and get over it.

“Maybe we should come here for the worlds, who knows. I wouldn’t be against the worlds coming here, how could you be with a set-up like this?

“The Crucible is a great venue because of the history and the atmosphere. But comparing venue to venue there is no comparison to here.

“I am not talking down the Crucible and I love playing there. But purely on what you see here, it’s different class.

Ali Carter (Photo by Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images)

“They have really raised the bar here, it costs money, but it makes players feel special.”

Fans of the sport have reacted with anger to the suggestion, and said that the Crucible should be ‘future-proofed’ to ensure the World Championships remains there.

A 10-year deal was signed in 2017 that ensured the event would remain in Sheffield for that period, however what happens after that is uncertain.

Carl McDonald tweeted to The Star, saying: “More mumblings about taking the snooker away from the Crucible today.

“I honestly think it’s now time to “future proof” the world Championships by taking the roof off the iconic venue and significantly expanding the capacity.”

And Scott Jennings wrote directly to Carter on Twitter, saying: “Are you serious when you say it's about time the snooker World Championships should be moved away from the crucible!? Play better snooker and try to win the damn thing see how you feel then.”

The Crucible has been approached for comment.