World Snooker Championship stopped by Just Stop Oil protesters

World Snooker Championship stopped by Just Stop Oil protesters

The evening session of the World Snooker Championship was disrupted by Just Stop Oil protesters on Monday. 

A man entered the arena where Robert Milkins and Joe Perry were playing. The protester climbed up onto the table and released orange paint powder onto one of the tables.

A woman also attempted to replicate the scene on another table where Mark Allen and Fan Zhengyi were playing, but she was unable to do so because of quick intervention by the referee.

Both matches were immediately suspended, and the players left the arena. Play eventually resumed on Table 2 just before 8:00 pm UK time.

The two protesters were held backstage by tournament security officials until the police arrived.

South Yorkshire Police later confirmed that two people had been arrested and remained in custody. "Two people were detained after protesters gained entry to The Crucible earlier this evening (Monday 17 April)," they said.

"A 30-year-old man and a 52-year-old woman were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage. Both are in police custody."

Shortly after, Just Stop Oil released a statement saying: "At around 7:20 pm, two Just Stop Oil supporters disrupted the World Snooker Championship at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, interrupting play.

"The pair proceeded to cover the tables in orange powder paint before being removed by security and arrested.

"They are demanding that the Government immediately stop all new UK fossil fuel projects and are calling on UK sporting institutions to step into civil resistance against the Government's genocidal policies."

This comes days after animal rights activists disrupted the Grand National. 118 people were arrested at Aintree on Saturday as they tried to scale the perimeter fence at the Grand National.

The opening session between Milkins and Perry will now be played on Tuesday evening, when their second session had been scheduled. Their concluding session will be played on Thursday morning.