Snooker stars 'not bothered by Covid policy' - RTHK
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Snooker stars 'not bothered by Covid policy'

2022-10-05 HKT 19:41
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  • Snooker stars 'not bothered by Covid policy'
Some of the world's best snooker players who are in the SAR for the Hong Kong Masters tournament said on Wednesday they're generally in favour of the Covid-19 arrangements put in place.

The first international snooker tournament held in Asia since the pandemic will kick off on Thursday at the Hong Kong Coliseum.

Instead of a "closed-loop" system proposed earlier, players now have to abide by the "zero plus three" policy and are given an amber health code, barring them from dining out.

The world's top-ranked player, Ronnie O'Sullivan of England, said he has no problems with the restrictions.

"It doesn't really bother me, you know, 'cause I knew we could go practise to the room, and that’s fine for me. It’s sometimes easier, because you don’t have to bother with people, the crowd, you know it’s just a quieter life. For me, sometimes, I like the restrictions.

“Now it has opened up a bit, you can sort of mingle with people, this and that, and sometimes that can be a distraction. And really, when you play sport, you just want to be left alone, quiet, relaxed, play a game.”

The world number one will face local star Ng On-yee in the quarterfinals on Friday evening.

Another home favourite, Marco Fu, said he spent nearly an hour on Wednesday showing the other players how to use the LeaveHomeSafe app.

Fu will play Englishman Mark Selby in the opening quarterfinal match on Thursday.

Organisers of the Hong Kong Masters said the "zero plus three" arrangement provides greater flexibility and freedom.

The chairman of the Hong Kong Billiard Sports Control Council, Vincent Law, also said they are hoping for a record-breaking turnout.

"We are looking to set a new record in snooker history because on the final day, we have already sold over 90 percent of the tickets, so we're expecting to see 8,000 to 9,000 people at the Hong Kong Coliseum, which will be the largest crowd for a snooker tournament."

The final is set for Sunday evening.

Selby, for his part, said he hopes to return to mainland China soon to play in snooker tournaments there.

Snooker stars 'not bothered by Covid policy'