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Why it is hard for World Snooker Championship to come to China?

By Yutang Sports 11 May 2015

2015 World Snooker Championship ended last week. Stuart Bingham defeated Shaun Murphy and got the champion. 

Although Ding Junhui, No.1 Chinese Snooker player, halted at quarterfinals, many Chinese snooker fans still focused their eyes on the process of World Snooker Championship. Since 2005, when the 18-year-old Ding Junhui won the Champion of China Open, such kind of England Gentlemen activity took its root in China and spread out in China. A lot of Chinese fans hope that World Snooker Championship could be held all over the world like FIFA World Cup and come to China someday. 

Pros: Near half of the tournaments are held in China

Form the point of view of event-holding capacity and hardware and software equipment, China could be the first-rate sports event holding place.

It's worth noting that when snooker has fallen into the bottom in 2009, the first thing that Barry Hearn was going to do was to expand overseas markets. As a result, China became the most important cake for his market expansion, which could be seen from the time that snooker events were held in China.

At that time, Shanghai Masters, China Open (Beijing), Haikou World Open, Wuxi Classic and Chengdu International Championship all gave their places to China. Especially for Chengdu International Championship, it is an important event only inferior to World Snooker Championship.

Selby, current No.1 snooker player around the world, also expressed that, someday World Snooker Championship would move to China from Sheffield. Jimmy White, a veteran snooker player, also thought that China would be the best place to held the top snooker event and he couldn’t find any reason for it not to be held in China.

Cons: Barry Hearn won’t make a concession

But Hearn said: “We ain’t going to China. Trust me, it isn’t going to happen. On my tombstone I’m not having ‘The man who took snooker out of Sheffield’.”

The 66-year-old English man got a totally different attitude comparing to that when he planned to explore the Chinese market. In his eyes, World Snooker Championship, UK Snooker Championship and Snooker Masters only belong to United Kingdom, not the world. So, the most important event should only be held in Sheffield.

For the reason why China couldn’t be the host place, Hearn said that China shouldn’t take the mature World Snooker Championship away and it should make its own brand event. Hearn worried that China would make the World Snooker Championship be an event with too many Chinese characteristics. 

Future: more and more young player will come from China

At present, it is undeniable that China has become a snooker country second only to the United Kingdom. But China still gets lots of difficulties to be overcome on the way to be the first.

As we know, more and more young Chinese snooker players got good performances on the stage of snooker. In the future there would be someone like Ding Junhui to compete for China.

In addition to the sponsorship, over 30 percent of them comes from Chinese sponsors. In the future, Chinese snooker players and sponsors would a component in the world of snooker that couldn’t be ignored.  

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