Ronnie O’Sullivan reckons referees have ‘got it in for him’ after black ball incident

Ronnie O’Sullivan was feeling hard-done-by at the Crucible (Picture: Getty Images)

Ronnie O’Sullivan claims ‘some referees have got it in for him’ after an unusual incident during his World Snooker Championship clash with Stuart Bingham on Wednesday.

The Rocket was 6-5 ahead of Bingham and looking to extend his lead when a controversial few seconds occurred.

The world number one potted a black and when referee Desislava Bozhilova re-spotted it, the ball appeared to rock on the spot and a red right next to it became unpottable.

O’Sullivan asked for the black to be re-spotted and it was proving difficult to stop the ball rocking slightly on a small indentation on the spot.

Eventually the referee managed to get the ball to stay still and at that point the red was pottable to the corner pocket.

Despite the situation now being much better for O’Sullivan, he felt uncomfortable and said: ‘I don’t feel good about it. I can’t take it.’

After much deliberation O’Sullivan chose to ignore the pot and play safe, which Neil Robertson on commentary hailed as one of the greatest pieces of sportsmanship he has seen.

O’Sullivan went on to lose the frame, finished the session level at 8-8 and was asked about the incident in his dressing room, claiming that some officials have a problem with him.

‘Some of the referees, I think they’ve got it in for me, so I wanted to prove to her she’s got it wrong,’ O’Sullivan told Eurosport.

‘Then I didn’t feel good about having to pot the ball after that. I just wanted to make the point and the point was made.

‘I’m not that hungry to win in that way. I’m more of a principles person, so once the principle’s been made, I can sleep at night.’

The praise O’Sullivan received for his sportsmanship will be tempered by criticism of the referee who was dealing with a clearly tricky situation on the baize and was happy to re-spot the ball at the Rocket’s request.

Ronnie O’Sullivan and Desislava Bozhilova eventually resolved the situation (Picture: Getty Images)

Robertson was very impressed with O’Sullivan choosing not to play the pot at the time, but also pointed out that the referee was not at fault.

‘Unbelievable. That is incredible. He could have played that red,’ said the former world champion.

‘It’s absolutely incredible what Ronnie’s done there. To refuse a pot with a great chance of going 7-5 up because he didn’t believe he could get through to the red if the black was perfectly on its spot.

‘It’s no fault of the referee either, Desislava is one of the best we have. It’s just one of those situations in this sport where not even a millimetre can make the biggest of difference.’


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