Snooker Fixed Matches
UK Championship 2021 winner Zhao Xintong, and Zhang Jiankang, join an ever-growing list Snooker Fixed Matches
“Xintong reminds me of my son. I look at him and he reminds me of my little boy Ronnie,” O’Sullivan told Our China Stories Snooker Fixed Matches.
“I have this father protection of him, I want to see him do so well. He’s such a great talent, such a lovely boy. I just love to see him show the world how wonderful he plays the game which he plays in the most beautiful style.
“I have a really good connection with him. I always tell him ‘You are the boss. I am here to help but if you tell me to be quiet, I will be quiet’.”
Xintong’s win only added to the momentum of the Chinese players, as months earlier, Yan Bingtao had won the prestigious Masters, taking over from the historic Ding Junhui, who had won it in 2011. At 26, he was also the youngest player to do so.
But this fairytale appears to have ended in the most abrupt way possible as both Xintong and Bingtao are on the list of ten Chinese players who have been suspended by the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) as part of an investigation into match-fixing for betting purposes Snooker Fixed Matches.
Xintong is the latest to join the list alongside compatriot Zhang Jiankang, a lower-ranked player. The winner of the 2021 UK Championship was due to start playing in the Masters this week. In fact, he was due to face world number two Mark Selby in the last 16 on Sunday.
The WPBSA confirmed in a statement issued on Tuesday that “the wider investigation is now at an advanced stage” and said it “will be completed shortly”. The suspension will remain in place until the investigation is concluded, although both players can appeal the decision.