/ Snooker

Hearn admonishes Allen after Crucible outburst

Updated: Tuesday, 24 Apr 2012 15:39

Mark Allen described China as "horrendous" earlier this year and declared that the country "stinks"
Mark Allen described China as "horrendous" earlier this year and declared that the country "stinks"

Mark Allen has been warned he could talk himself out of a career after the Northern Irishman's outburst against Chinese players led to a stern rebuke from World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn.

The 26-year-old could be suspended, Hearn confirmed, after claiming the generation of players emerging from China lack integrity.

If disciplinary chiefs decide Allen has committed an offence it will be far from his first, with the Antrim man having already been fined four times for controversial remarks this season, including a blast at Hearn during the UK Championship.

He has paid out over £2,500 in fines already.

Allen's comments have been referred to the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association, and Hearn said: "This is a very good time to be a snooker player. It's not a good time to be an idiot."

Hearn is determined to stamp out indiscipline, and said: "This is zero tolerance.

"We have the powers to do anything providing we've acted reasonably. It's a fine, a potential suspension, or a ban."

Allen has already caused offence in China this season, branding the island of Hainan, which staged the World Open, which ironically he won, as "horrendous" and its people as "ignorant".

He was fined £1,000 for those comments, but Hearn said: "I don't think it's a strong enough disincentive by any means.

"That's why our recommendation is that if he's found guilty this time I would expect the WPBSA to take a more serious approach at the level of fines. How far do we go until the players understand their responsibility to the game?

"There comes a point when you have to say enough is enough. And I'm trusting the WPBSA disciplinary system to take that into account."

Marco Fu, the Hong Kong cueman, said he would talk to Allen about his comments.

Allen named Fu yesterday as a player he believed had broken snooker's moral code by not calling fouls on himself in the past.

"All cameras are on you. Even if you don't have sportsmanship you have to call it sometimes," Fu said in a press conference.

"I can't recall any shot, especially against him. Maybe it came from disappointment (at losing).

"You know what he's like. I think most snooker players are quite clean.

"When he mentions me, I honestly don't have a clue what he's talking about, but that's his opinion.

"I think he needs to take responsibility for saying comments like that.

"I'm not disappointed, I'm not surprised, but it's a bit weird."

Asked if he would discuss the issue with Allen, Fu said: "Probably I'll speak to him. I thought we got on okay.

"We didn't go out a lot but we used to be under the same management group and we went to China a few times."

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