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Ronnie O’Sullivan ‘wanted to prove the referee wrong’ in bizarre Crucible moment

Ronnie O’Sullivan claimed some referees were ‘targeting me’ after a bizarre incident midway through the second session of his World Snooker Championship quarter-final against Stuart Bingham at the Crucible.

O’Sullivan was initially praised for his sportsmanship after appearing to play it safe rather than opting to pocket a red close to the black as he believed the black had not been correctly spotted.

O’Sullivan repeatedly asked referee Desislava Bozhilova to replace the ball as he thought it rolled fractionally from its spot, wrongly giving him the opportunity to pocket the ball.

The world number one, who was 14 points behind after a break of 20, eventually lost the frame but was praised for his gesture. sportsmanship I have ever seen”.

However, O’Sullivan gave a different take on the incident, telling Eurosport: “To be honest, some of the referees, I think they have it in front of me, so I just wanted to prove to her that she got it wrong.

β€œI didn’t feel good about potting the ball afterwards, but I just wanted to get the point across. The point was made. I’m not that hungry to win it that way, so once the principle is figured out, I can sleep at night.”

Bozhilova, 31, has refereed on the professional tour for 12 years and will officiate the Masters and UK Championship finals respectively in 2022.

The WST refuted O’Sullivan’s allegations and insisted that Bozhilova acted appropriately during the incident.

O’Sullivan and Bingham started their closing session at 8-8, sharing the first two frames of the evening in their best-of-25 frame encounter.

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