Snooker

'He Is A Tool' - Mark King Blasts Ronnie O'Sullivan For Disrespectful Comments

'He Is A Tool' - Mark King Blasts Ronnie O'Sullivan For Disrespectful Comments

Defending champion Mark King was eliminated from the Northern Ireland Open at the third round stage on Thursday, losing 4-1 to 17-year-old Chinese sensation Yan Bingtao.

While exiting the tournament, King fired a parting shot at Ronnie O'Sullivan, calling the world number four "a tool".

Speaking to Eurosport, King said he felt that as reigning champion he did not get the respect he deserved in the match schedule. That was unlike O'Sullivan who he said seemed to play whenever he wanted.

"If I had one grudge to bear I feel like normally defending champion goes on first game, and I was on second at about 10pm. Then in the next game I was on at 10am, with no TV, then again today at 10am with no TV.

And you just feel like if you’re not Ronnie, you are brushed aside. He is the greatest player we have ever had, but you don’t see him on roll-on, roll-off. He has a scheduled match time, seems to play at times when he wants to play and asks to play on certain days."

In the build-up to the Northern Ireland Open, O'Sullivan recorded an irreverent video for Eurosport, bemoaning the number of "numpties" he has to encounter at 128-man tournaments.

Round one, when players he's never heard of turn up with a busload of supporters, was termed the "numpty phase" by O'Sullivan.

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King said that O'Sullivan had been disrespectful to his fellow players.

We are all in the same boat, all trying to earn a living – and all that numpty crap is just that, crap.

He was a numpty once and it shows disrespect for your peers. I have respect for all tour players, even the ones that can’t make a 50 break. No one is a numpty, and he is a tool if you ask me.

O'Sullivan has since been eliminated from the tournament by one of the players he categorised as a "numpty" - world number 82 Elliot Slessor.

The event has been the subject of criticism from players. Neil Robertson described the practice facilities at the Belfast Waterfront Hall as garbage. The Australian was unable to book a practice table in the build-up to his round two win against Billy Joe Castle on Wednesday.

O'Sullivan bemoaned the atmosphere at the venue. O'Sullivan said he'd rather play at a venue which was dilapidated but had a decent atmosphere.

See Also: World Number 10 Slams Facilities At Northern Ireland Open

Watch: Ronnie O'Sullivan Has A Message For All The Snooker "Numpties"

PJ Browne
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