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Wednesday 14 November 2018

Ronnie stands over 'hellhole' comment

Ronnie O'Sullivan has defended his scathing criticism of the English Open venue. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images
Ronnie O'Sullivan has defended his scathing criticism of the English Open venue. Photo: VCG/VCG via Getty Images

Ronnie O'Sullivan has defended his scathing criticism of the English Open venue, insisting he does not want to be "traipsing through kids with snorkels" on his way to a match.

The five-time world champion described the K2 Leisure Centre in Crawley as a "hellhole" and claimed he could smell urine in the player interview area after his first-round win on Monday.

O'Sullivan expanded on his criticism yesterday, while fellow players Stephen Maguire and Mark Allen also expressed some concerns.

"I don't think it is harsh at all, the facts are the facts," said the 42-year-old. "I think the venue is OK, what they should do is hire the whole back of the venue rather than have the snooker part here and then you have to walk through the bowling green to the press conference.

"When I was walking through there yesterday (former world champion) Peter Ebdon was walking through and one old boy shouted 'Can you stop walking while I'm trying to play bowls?'.

"Peter looked around because he thought he was joking but he was really serious and he went 'I'm going to start walking through when you are playing snooker'.

"You have to go through the main foyer - you don't want to be traipsing through families going swimming with kids with snorkels and flip-flops on and you're about to play a match or to do a press conference."

On his claims about the urine smell, defending champion O'Sullivan added: "They put me by some toilet and I had to stand there for four or five minutes and all I could smell was urine.

"It was really quite off-putting, no-one wants to be subject to smelling urine."

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