Ronnie O’Sullivan has been at the centre of a major controversy in the world of soccer after refusing to be part of the European Masters that takes place in Belgium. The five-time world champion cited a lower prize money as a reason for not taking part in the tournament. This comment has resulted in a significant number of criticism coming at the former number one. World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn is one of the latest names to come in with staunch criticism, as he has labelled O’Sullivan as being disrespectful.
Hearn claims that my comments from the former number one does not sit well with regard to the competition’s importance and also the importance that he places on the ability of his competitors. The explanation from O’Sullivan has been seen as disrespectful, as he appears to only value the prize money from a competition rather than the fellow professionals that he has to overcome along the way.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest snooker players of all time, he has been a professional since 1992. His first major success came when he was just 17 years old at the UK championship. As of now, he has been able to get success in 28 major tournaments, while also managing to win the world championship title on five occasions. His latest world title came in 2013 and it was also his back-to-back success. Since then, however, his domination in the game has declined to a certain extent.
Last season, O’Sullivan was only able to win the Masters and did not enjoy any success in the ranking tournaments. Yet, the player’s criticism of the European Masters is certainly not new and there have been several calls from professionals to reduce the size of the tournament from its current status of 128 events to 64 events.