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Organisers hopeful of Crucible crowds for World Snooker Championships

Organisers of the World Snooker Championships remain hopeful they’ll be allowed a crowd inside the Crucible Theatre. 

The re-arranged tournament is due to get underway at its traditional Sheffield venue from July 31.

As things stand, snooker's annual showpiece is scheduled to take place behind closed doors.

However, World Snooker Tour (WST) say discussions are ongoing with the UK government about allowing a number of people inside the famous theatre.

Fans are being given the option to register an interest in attending the World Championships, should UK government talks bear fruit.

Should fans be allowed attend, they will still have to adhere to social distancing measures and strict hygiene protocols.

Snooker has managed to successfully resume without fans present, with the Championship League and Tour Championship among recent highlights.

However, it's claimed that "several" players are opting not to travel to Sheffield later this month as a result of coronavirus-related restrictions.

It's not believed any of those players are currently ranked inside the world's top 16.

WST Chairman Barry Hearn said: “Detailed discussions with the relevant organisations are ongoing and we are determined to explore every avenue.

"We realise that to attend the Betfred World Championship is a once in a lifetime experience for many fans, and for everyone in the arena it is a magical occasion.

"The highest priority of course is the health and safety of fans and everyone connected with the event, so spectators will only be allowed if we are confident that this priority can be met. But we are working hard towards making this happen if it is possible.

"If there are fans in the arena they will be witnessing a unique sporting occasion.

"This would be a golden ticket, for the very lucky few. We urge fans to let us know their preferred option as soon as possible.

"We have already staged two successful snooker events in recent weeks and led the way in terms of the return of live sport."

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Barry Hearn Snooker WST World Snooker Championships World Snooker Tour

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