Ronnie O’Sullivan will pull out of Championship League Snooker if tournament organisers renege on their promise that he can bring his own food to the venue.
The Milton Keynes event is being run under the strictest health and safety protocols amid the coronavirus crisis, with players being tested for COVID-19 and only being able to enter the venue with a negative result, isolating overnight before the results come in.
O’Sullivan is happy to adhere to the rules, but only if he can bring his own food with him to the Marshall Arena and the adjoining hotel.
The Rocket says he doesn’t trust other people to prepare food for him during the global pandemic and if he can’t rustle up his own meals then he will not be playing.
The five-time world champion says organisers have agreed to his request, but if they change their minds then he will put his cue back in his car and drive home.
‘So as long as my desire to stay healthy was respected and I could take my own food, once I heard of the other measures being taken I was happy to play,’ O’Sullivan told Hector Nunns for the Daily Star.
‘I don’t trust people cooking my own food at the hotel during these times. I have been told that will be okay, but you never know until you arrive there and see what happens.
‘If I feel the food situation is not right and I am not allowed to bring in my own pre-prepared stuff, I will feel my health is the most important. So when I get there, hopefully I feel safe, and if I don’t and I’m not happy, then my health has to come first and I could leave.
‘I asked about the food before I agreed to play. I explained that I have had no one touch my food for the last 10 weeks. I haven’t had takeaways, or let anyone else cook for me.
‘That would be a deal-breaker for me, I am funny about it. They said it would be fine, but let’s wait and see on the day.’
O’Sullivan is due to play on Friday in Group 10 of the tournament alongside Chris Wakelin, Michael Georgiou and Kishan Hirani.
As long as he does play, he will be hot favourite to emerge from that group and join Judd Trump, Dave Gilbert, Mark Joyce and Luca Brecel who have already booked their places in the second group stage.
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