HomeFree ArticleLatest NewsSaudi Arabia to host inaugural snooker invitational

Saudi Arabia to host inaugural snooker invitational

Saudi Arabia to host inaugural snooker invitational

The World Snooker Tour has revealed that Saudi Arabia will host its inaugural invitational snooker event, featuring an addition of a golden ball that could elevate the maximum break to 167.

Scheduled for March, the Riyadh Season World Masters of Snooker will showcase 10 players, including seven-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan, 2019 world champion Judd Trump and current titleholder Luca Brecel. The tournament introduces a unique 23rd golden ball, named the Riyadh Season ball, valued at 20 points. However, it can only be potted following the completion of a maximum break of 147.

To be held at Boulevard Arena in Boulevard City, Riyadh, from March 4-6, the three-day event marks a historic collaboration between the World Snooker Tour and Saudi Arabia. The partnership was formalised through an agreement between Faisal Bafarat, CEO of General Entertainment Authority (GEA); Steve Dawson, Chairman of World Snooker Tour (WST); Saudi advisor Turki Alalshikh; and sports promoters Eddie Hearn and Barry Hearn.

“It is a great privilege for the World Snooker Tour to work in partnership with HE Advisor Turki Alalshikh to stage an event in Saudi Arabia for the first time,” Dawson said.

“This is a huge breakthrough for snooker into a new territory, and we see this as the beginning of a new adventure for our sport in the region.

“We are looking forward to being a part of Riyadh Season on this fantastic new event featuring the world’s best players.

“We will be honoured to bring our sport to the amazing city of Riyadh, and for the local fans this will be their first chance to see some of snooker’s all-time greats.”

Eddie Hearn confirmed the participation of the top eight players in the world, along with two wildcards, and a substantial prize pool of US$1 million.

Trump praised the expansion of snooker to diverse locations, stating, “It’s amazing for snooker to be going to different places. It’s amazing to be going back to China and feel appreciated again.

“I think we are seeing snooker in new territories now with exhibitions popping up in different places and it’s amazing that Saudi Arabia want to get involved.”

However, Amnesty International called on snooker’s leading stars, including O’Sullivan and Trump, to use the opportunity to address human rights concerns.

Peter Frankental, Amnesty International UK’s economic affairs director, emphasised the importance of athletes speaking out against human rights abuses, cautioning that participation in Saudi Arabia should not overshadow the need for advocacy on critical issues.

Image credit: DerHexer

Share With:
Rate This Article
No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.