Snooker World Championship resumes at Sheffield's Crucible after Just Stop Oil protest

Play was suspended for 45 minutes after Monday's protest. Credit: PA

The Snooker World Championship has resumed with increased security measures after the competition was disrupted by environmental protesters.

Play at The Crucible Theatre in Sheffield was suspended on Monday night after a member of the group Just Stop Oil left the audience and poured orange powder paint onto one of the tables.

The match between Robert Milkins and Joe Perry, which was being broadcast live, was suspended for about 45 minutes.

Mark Allen's match with Fan Zhengyi was also temporarily suspended after another protester tried to glue herself to the table.

A man and a woman were later arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.

The table after being covered in orange dye. Credit: PA

The table damaged by the orange powder was re-covered overnight to allow play to restart as scheduled at 10am on Tuesday, with games between Jack Lisowski and Noppon Saengkham and Gary Wilson and Elliot Slessor.

In a statement, World Snooker said security was a top priority.

A spokesperson said: "Following the incident at the Cazoo World Championship on Monday evening, we have increased existing security measures around the event at the Crucible.

"These measures include extra security positioned within the arena and on the floor of play; only very small bags will be allowed into the arena and these will be vigorously searched; any larger bags must be left in the cloakroom.

"We also continue to liaise with local law enforcement authorities regarding these procedures."

Milkins and Perry will resume play on Tuesday evening from 7pm.

Fans who had tickets for Monday evening would be contacted by email, they added.

In a statement issued after the incident, Just Stop Oil said the protesters were demonstrating against the government's environmental record.

The group said: "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."

A man and a woman were arrested. Credit: PA

Commentating for the BBC, former world champion Stephen Hendry said: "I have never seen that before at a snooker event. It’s a first.

"It is scary. Wow! You just hope the cloth can be recovered from that. It caught us all by surprise and then this happens.

"For me, straight away as a snooker player I am thinking: ‘Is the table recoverable?’ We don’t know what that is on the table."

The incident came two days after protesters delayed the start of the Grand National.

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