Ronnie O'Sullivan brands crowds at World Championship an 'unnecessary risk' amid NHS' 'war' against coronavirus

RONNIE O'SULLIVAN reckons having fans at the World Snooker Championship is an "unnecessary risk" and putting people's lives at risk.

World Snooker have confirmed the tournament will host a "reduced crowd" following discussions with the government.

Spectators will be urged to follow a "code of conduct" at the championship, which begins on July 31.

But five-time world champ O'Sullivan – who threatened to pull out over the plans to bring fans in – believes it's a waste of time having a limited number there.

Asked about the small crowd numbers, he told BBC Radio 5 Live: "You aren't really achieving anything.

"Having people there but not enough people doesn't look good.

"Either pack it out and say we don't actually care or just go 'we aren't having anyone'."

O'Sullivan, 44, went onto add that the sport being on TV was enough in the current climate.

And he said he has "no problem" with sporting events being behind closed doors until next year.

He added: "Just sport being on television is enough at the moment.

"I just think it's an unnecessary risk.

"I just don't think you want to be putting people's lives at risk.

"You look at the NHS and you think this is like a war at the moment and it's those people who have been flat out, and you watch what they go through, and anything to take the stress off them is paramount."

O'Sullivan – who recently revealed he felt suicidal even when winning matches – said that despite all the best measures being put in place, he will withdraw if he feels unsafe.

He said: "If I get to that point then obviously there is no point in playing.

"And hopefully I don't, hopefully I feel like I'm there and I'm enjoying."

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