Daily Express

Five ‘ thrown out’ of Euro Mas­ters amid Covid scare

- SNOOKERBy 10pt By­line By Hec­tor Nunns Sports · Ronnie O'Sullivan · Milton Keynes · Championship · Aaron Hill · Gary Wilson · Mark Selby · Duane Jones · David Gilbert · James Cahill · Kyren Wilson

FIVE play­ers have been forced out of this week’s Euro­pean Mas­ters af­ter Gary Wil­son and Daniel Wells failed Covid tests.

World cham­pion Ron­nie O’Sullivan has been given a bye into the sec­ond round at Mil­ton Keynes af­ter Wells’ with­drawal.

World No56 Wells and for­mer World Cham­pi­onship semi­fi­nal­ist Wil­son be­came the first play­ers to fail Covid tests since they were brought in af­ter lock­down.

But Michael White, world No60 El­liot Slessor and David Lil­ley have also been with­drawn from the tour­na­ment.

Slessor and world No90 Lil­ley had been in con­tact with Wil­son at the Mil­ton Keynes venue.

And White, who was sched­uled to take on three- time world cham­pion Mark Selby yes­ter­day af­ter­noon, had been in con­tact with fel­low Welsh­man Wells.

Slessor said: “Well, that’s it. Thrown out of the tour­na­ment with­out even test­ing pos­i­tive.

“Was in con­tact with some­one who was. Bril­liant news, nice four- hour jour­ney home now all at my own ex­pense.”

Lil­ley said: “I am very sad to say that I have been re­moved from the tour­na­ment due to be­ing in close prox­im­ity to another player who has tested pos­i­tive for Covid.

“I am not very happy about it but there is noth­ing I can do.”

Wil­son was due to play Duane Jones, Lil­ley had been lined up to face David Gil­bert and Slessor was drawn against James Cahill.

All of their op­po­nents have been given byes into the sec­ond round.

The play­ers and their fam­i­lies must now self- iso­late for a pe­riod of 14 days.

It was sched­uled to be O’Sullivan’s first match since he claimed a sixth world ti­tle by beat­ing Kyren Wil­son at the Cru­cible last month. World No2 O’Sullivan will now face Ir­ish rookie Aaron Hill or Devon’s Andy Hicks.

 ??  ?? BYE PASS: O’Sullivan will head straight into round two
BYE PASS: O’Sullivan will head straight into round two

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