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Snooker great O’Sullivan says World Championship should leave Crucible

Snooker great Ronnie O’Sullivan has called for the World Championship to be moved from the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield, northern England, suggesting China and Saudi Arabia as alternative locations.

The Crucible has hosted every edition of snooker’s showpiece tournament since 1977 but the seven-time world champion believes the time has come to leave the venue, where the maximum capacity is under 1,000 seats.

O’Sullivan will attempt to win a modern-day record eighth world title when the Championship starts on April 20, having recently taken part in events in Riyadh, the Saudi capital, and the Chinese city of Yushan.

“I don’t like the Crucible,” the 48-year-old Englishman told The Sun newspaper. “I don’t think you can get in and out of it. I think definitely it’s a wise decision to take it away from Sheffield.

“Still have a tournament there. Why not? But just not the world championship over 17 days. It’s a massive circus and you need a massive space to accommodate it.”

O’Sullivan added: “I think Saudi Arabia would be great. They’ve got the resources and would do it great. If you’re going to take it to China, you’d have to take it to Shanghai. Or another major city like Shenzhen or Guangzhou.

“It’d be done properly. Courtesy cars will be laid on. Food will be there. Hotels will be great. Everything would be paid for. Prize money would be astronomical.”

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