Protesters force strike at World Snooker Championship

‘Just Stop Oil’ protesters forced an early game stoppage in the evening session at the World Snooker Championship in Sheffield.

The duo invaded the arena shortly after the game began with a man interrupting the match between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry by jumping on the table where he threw a packet of orange dye.

Referee Olivier Marteel’s quick response prevented a protester from attacking the match between Mark Allen and Fan Zhengyi at table two.

Play was immediately called off as cleaners brought vacuums to the arena and emcee Rob Walker was among those helping to sweep up the mess.

Former world champion Stephen Hendry, acting as a commentator for the BBC, said: “I’ve never seen that before in a snooker event. It is the first one.

“That’s scary. Wow! You just hope the fabric can recover from that. It took us all by surprise and then this happened.

“For me, immediately as a pool player, I’m thinking, ‘Is the table retrievable?’ We don’t know what’s on the table.”

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