Former Masters champion Mark Allen has slammed the decision to hand Jimmy White an invitational card for the next two seasons on the World Snooker Tour.

Allen, the current world number 13, described the move, which comes seven months after a similar arrangement was made for Stephen Hendry, as "shocking".

The Northern Irishman tweeted: "No doubt I'll face backlash again for saying this but the announcement of the Jimmy White wildcard is shocking.

"Nothing against Jimmy personally but some awful decisions being made right now by [World Snooker Tour]."

White, 58, was first awarded the invitational card in 2017 and has had it extended "due to his outstanding contribution to the sport", the WST said in a statement on its official website.

The Londoner was beaten by Hendry in the first qualifying round of the Betfred World Championship earlier this week.

White is a six-time Crucible runner-up and has won 10 ranking titles, as well as the Masters.

WST chairman Barry Hearn and World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association chairman Jason Ferguson said in a joint statement: "Jimmy is one of snooker's one-time greats, not only in terms of his achievements on the table, but also in his massive worldwide popularity.

"He has done so much to promote snooker through his playing style and charisma. He remains a great asset to our sport and we had no hesitation in offering him a tour card for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons."

White said: "I would like to thank Barry and Jason, I am very grateful for this opportunity and I'm looking forward to a new start next season."

There will be four invitational tour card holders during the 2021-22 season - White, Hendry, 1997 world champion Ken Doherty and two-time semi-finalist Marco Fu.