Mark Allen slams ‘ridiculous’ BBC Sports Personality decision

Newly crowned Scottish Open champion Mark Allen didn’t hold back his thoughts regarding snooker’s latest snub in this year’s BBC Sports Personality of the Year contest.

Despite a social media campaign in recent days, Ronnie O’Sullivan was once again NOT shortlisted for the main award – considered to be one of the most prestigious in British sport.

Neither was any snooker player in fact, as the sport got just a tiny mention during the two-hour ceremony which was watched by millions on BBC One.

Not since the early 1990s has any snooker player come close to winning the main award – Stephen Hendry being the last as runner-up in 1990. Two years before in 1988 Steve Davis won the award.

Many considered O’Sullivan’s achievement earlier this month of winning the most Triple Crown events in history to be justifiable of earning a nomination for the BBC award – but he wasn’t named in the six-person shortlist.

Ronnie O’Sullivan. Picture by Monique Limbos

Those who were shortlisted for the public vote by an independent judging panel included Tottenham and England footballer Harry Kane, England cricketer James Anderson, skeleton athlete Lizzie Yarnold, cyclist Geraint Thomas, athlete Dina Asher-Smith and Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Thomas won the award after being crowned Tour de France winner earlier this year.

On the same night as the awards, Mark Allen capped off a wonderful year by winning the Scottish Open beating Shaun Murphy in a close final.

After the match, Allen appeared on the Eurosport studio – siting beside O’Sullivan – and was asked by presenter Andy Goldstein for this thoughts on the BBC Sports Personality contest result .

And Allen didn’t hold back. His reply was:

“It’s absolutely ridiculous.

“Not to blow his trumpet while he’s sitting beside me but what has anyone else done in British sport that Ronnie hasn’t done? It’s ridiculous that he gets overlooked time and time again.

“It just shows where snooker is really in the grand scheme of things.

“I know Barry (Hearn) and Jason Ferguson are working really hard to promote the profile of our game but when Ronnie O’Sullivan doesn’t even get a nomination you know we are in bad times.”

Just seconds later Allen then asks Goldstein who won the main award. When Goldstein responds with ‘Geraint Thomas’ Allen appears to say very softly ‘who’, which prompts the presenter to laugh.

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