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Mark Allen slams ‘shocking’ decision to hand Jimmy White an invitational tour card

Mark Allen

“Shocking.”

Mark Allen has criticised the decision to offer Jimmy White an invitational tour card for the next two seasons on the World Snooker Tour.

Allen described the ruling as “shocking” and claimed that the World Snooker Tour are making “some awful decisions” right now.

Mark Allen

Jimmy White.

White ended up losing to Stephen Hendry last week in the first qualifying round for this year’s World Championship.

The result meant that White would end up dropping out of the tour at the end of the season. White was first awarded the invitational card in 2017 and the WST decided to extend it by two years.

WST Chairman Barry Hearn and WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson released a joint statement on the decision.

Jimmy White

“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,” the statement read.

“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 also revealed that he is “grateful” for being handed the opportunity.

“I would like to thank Barry and Jason,” the 58-year-old said.

“I am very grateful for this opportunity and I’m looking forward to a new start next season.”

Jimmy White

Mark Allen.

Allen, however, was less than pleased with the WST’s decision on the matter and criticised the move in a social media post.

“No doubt I’ll face backlash again for saying this but the announcement of the Jimmy White wildcard is shocking,” Allen wrote on Twitter.

“Nothing against Jimmy personally but some awful decisions being made right now by (World Snooker Tour).”

Allen later tweeted stating how he believes that everyone “should earn their spots” on the tour.

“I don’t agree with wildcards full stop,” Allen said.

“EVERYONE should earn their spots in my opinion. Marco Fu is a whole different story as COVID has prevented him from competing this season.”

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