Ronnie O'Sullivan to cut back on interviews after lastest controversy

Ronnie O'Sullivan insists he will no longer give in-depth interviews after the latest controversy regarding his comments to the media.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 8th February 2017, 1:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th February 2017, 12:42 pm
Ronnie O'Sullivan
Ronnie O'Sullivan

The former world number one has revealed he received "another disciplinary letter" from governing body World Snooker after criticising semi-final referee Terry Camilleri and a press photographer en route to winning his seventh Masters title last month at Alexandra Palace.

O'Sullivan is back in action at this week's World Grand Prix in Preston, where he caused a stir by giving a bizarre interview to ITV Sport after his win over Chinese teenager Yan Bingtao on Tuesday.

Responding to questions from former player Neal Foulds, O'Sullivan gave only brief answers to the first five questions before adopting a stilted, robotic voice.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Ronnie O'Sullivan

"Yes, it resonates very much for me when I come here to the Preston Guild Hall, it has many good memories," he said.

"I am very happy with my game, I hope I can keep playing very well to the end of the season.

"Thank you very much, Neal."

The bizarre performance was explained in a blog O'Sullivan wrote for broadcaster Eurosport.

Ronnie O'Sullivan

"I will no longer be talking in depth in press conferences or interviews because when I share my thoughts, I risk being fined," he wrote.

"If I get fined for (not giving full answers) then I will no longer be prepared to perform all the contractual obligations we are asked to do for World Snooker."

Any potential fine or sanction for the incident at the Masters is still to be determined and a spokesman for World Snooker told Press Association Sport: "The comments Ronnie made at the Masters are still under consideration so we wouldn't want to make any comment at this stage."

O'Sullivan gave a television interview to Eurosport at the Masters in which he criticised Camilleri's performance, before swearing during a press conference when discussing the photographer.

Reflecting on the issues in his blog, he wrote: "I felt the referee, Terry Camilleri, was not up to scratch during my semi-final match with Marco Fu at one of our sport's major events. And neither was a photographer, who was snapping pictures while I was on the shot.

"I was going for a very important pot at the start of the 10th frame. I had to ask him at least three times to stop moving while he was in my eyeline. In the end, I had to change the pot I was going for because he wasn't listening. Is that fair?

"Out of pure frustration, I said to the cameraman who was among the reporters (in a press conference): 'You're a f***ing nightmare mate, you obviously don't know not to move in the player's eyeline while the player is on a shot'.

"I'm not excusing the swearing, and I apologise for that. I didn't swear on TV, only to 10 or 15 journalists who record comments after the game. Nobody has even heard what I said because it was edited out by the BBC."