You cheat! Allen accuses Chinese opponent of 'blatant foul' after shock defeat
20:16 GMT, 22 April 2012
After the perfection of Stephen Hendry’s 147 maximum break on Saturday, the BetFred.com World Snooker Championship descended into accusations of cheating made by Mark Allen against his young Chinese opponent Cao Yupeng on Sunday.
The Northern Irishman’s season has been shrouded in controversial outbursts, but moments after he had surprisingly lost his first-round match 10-7 to a player ranked 81 in the world, Allen made the most damning of allegations.
Trailing 5-4 overnight, the world No 11 watched on as Cao appeared to strike the white ball twice with his cue while potting a red. Referee Paul Collier did not call a foul and Cao played on to compile a break of 33 on his way to winning the frame.
Claim: Mark Allen accused his first round opponent of cheating
Allen believed Cao should have called a foul against himself and reacted furiously immediately after the match.
He said: ‘The referee missed a blatant push. It was obvious to me and anyone watching at home would have been able to see it, no problem.
‘Cao looked at the referee as soon as he did it, as if to say, “Are you not calling a foul here” It seems to be a bit of a trait for the Chinese players because there have been a few instances in the past of fouls and blatant cheating going on. It needs to be corrected. He’s a good enough player that he doesn’t have to do that.
‘It’s very, very sad for the state of snooker if it has to be down to that.’
A World Snooker spokesman confirmed Allen’s allegations would be investigated.
Surprise: China's Cao Yupeng shocked Allen to progress to the second round
Allen’s coach Terry Griffiths, who was commentating on the game live on the BBC, immediately spotted the foul, turning to co-commentator John Virgo even before the white ball had come to a stop. He said: ‘I think he fouled that. I think he hit the white twice, didn’t he, John’
Allen’s outburst was the latest in a six-month barrage of insults which have landed him with fines and trouble. He swore while accusing snooker supremo Barry Hearn of caring only about money, not the players, at the UK Championship in December.
He has yet to be sanctioned for disparaging remarks made about the Chinese city of Hainan, tweeting ‘dead cats’ and that ‘the place stinks’.
Cao was hurt by the accusations. He said through an interpreter: ‘I didn’t realise I had fouled. If I did foul, then I say sorry. If I didn’t and Mark has said that (I should) apologise, then I would feel very upset and angry.’
Allen’s anger was compounded by the manner of defeat. At 9-6 behind, he made what he thought was a winning clearance only to see the white ball drop into a corner pocket and hand Cao victory.
Meanwhile, Hendry duly completed a comfortable 10-4 victory over Stuart Bingham, the same scoreline by which Neil Robertson overcame Ken Doherty. Hendry's reward is a first-ever Crucible meeting with fellow Scottish multiple-world champion John Higgins.