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Mark Allen apologises for “damaging” comments

Mark Allen has released a short statement on social media platform X, apologising for recent comments made about the World Snooker Tour.

The Pistol, whose defence of this week’s Northern Ireland Open ended on Monday night in the last 64, said he regretted his attack on the sport.

“In a recent media interview with the Irish Mirror, I made comments about players not playing in WST events, as well as other comments about World Snooker which were damaging,” Mark Allen wrote.

“I unreservedly withdraw them. I regret and sincerely apologise for making these comments.”

“(I) look forward to working with World Snooker in the future to ensure our great sport, and the players that make it, reaches its full potential and delivers for fans around the world.”

There has been plenty of controversy surrounding snooker this month, which has been primarily linked to the situation involving the so-called Macau Five.

Reigning world champion Luca Brecel was among the quintet who opted to participate in an exhibition event in Macau on the same dates as this week’s Northern Ireland Open.

The others involved were four-time world champions Mark Selby and John Higgins, and fellow former ranking event winners Ali Carter and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

While the Macau event was eventually postponed following pressure exerted by the World Snooker Tour, the players in question were unable to enter or reenter Belfast as the deadline had passed.

It led many to query the players’ rights, with professionals seemingly restricted by a contract they sign upon joining the main tour.

In his interview with the Irish Mirror, Mark Allen had previously said: “If I was one of the players (in Macau) involved then I would have taken a stand, because the contract we have is far too restrictive.”

“If you don’t sign the contract you can’t play snooker, so ultimately you have to sign it because I want to play tournaments, compete, and earn a living for my family.

“But that doesn’t mean I’m happy with a lot of things in the contract.

“I don’t think anything will change until the players revolt and in my view we need to boycott collectively as top players missing an event.

“That’s the only way things will change.”

Allen’s public apology to the World Snooker Tour isn’t the first to be made in light of recent events.

Long-time snooker journalist Hector Nunns was forced to write a similar statement last week amid a retraction of alleged defamatory comments he had directed at WST.

“On 8 October 2023, I wrote an article for the Mail Online which contained several false and defamatory statements about World Snooker Limited,” Nunns wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“The article, supplemented by various tweets published by me, accused WSL and certain of its board members of threatening behaviour and unethical practices.”

“Some of the allegations were repeated in a subsequent article I wrote for The Express, which was published on 17 October 2023.

“The articles and tweets contained claims that were completely false and defamatory, and I acknowledge that there was no basis for such allegations.

“I have deleted the offending tweets and wish to unreservedly retract the allegations contained within the articles.

“I apologise sincerely for the damage and offence that was caused to WSL by the defamatory remarks.”

Featured photo credit: WST


  1. Can’t help but feel Allen has been pressured into his apology like Hector Nunns most likely was.

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