The Masters snooker tournament will be held without an audience next month

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The Masters snooker tournament, which has an elite field of the world’s 16 best players, will now be played behind closed doors in London’s Alexandra Palace after tighter coronavirus restrictions are in place

Last updated: 24/12/20 15:40

Stuart Bingham defends the Paul Hunter Trophy at Alexandra Palace in January

Alexandra Palace is hosting a snooker Masters tournament without spectators in January after stricter COVID-19 restrictions were introduced.

World Snooker Tour (WST) President Barry Hearn had hoped to welcome fans safely into a socially distant seating plan for the tournament, which runs from January 10 to 17.

But with severe coronavirus restrictions now in place in London and the South East, and after discussions with the UK government and public health agencies, the WST accepts that the event should be played behind closed doors.

“This decision will come as a huge disappointment to the fans who had tickets and were looking forward to experiencing this extraordinary event. It is also frustrating for the players who have missed the excitement of playing in front of their fans. But as always we have to keep health and safety for all associated with our events at the top of our priorities, ”Hearn said.

“We will continue to explore security opportunities welcoming fans to our events and I fully believe that 2021 will be a great year for snooker.”

One of snooker’s Triple Crown events, the Masters has an elite field of the world’s 16 best players.

Stuart Bingham will defend the title against the sport’s biggest names, including Judd Trump, Ronnie O’Sullivan, Mark Selby, Neil Robertson, John Higgins and many more.

For those who are on the go, we will have the Snooker & Pool season covered via our website skysports.com/more-sports, our mobile app or our Twitter account @skysportspool for the latest news and reports.

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