The WPBSA and Simon Blackwell Disciplinary Hearing Finding
At a WPBSA Disciplinary Committee hearing on 9th May 2022, Simon Blackwell an amateur snooker player, accepted two breaches of the WPBSA Rules.
The circumstances were that Blackwell was seeking to finish in the top four of the EPSB Open Series where the prize was a free entry to WST Q School. At Tradewell Event 13, he made an approach to another player and offered him £200 to ensure that he won the two frames he needed to ensure he finished in the top four.
In addition to this, as an encouragement to the player to accept his offer, Blackwell offered to lose a subsequent match against a friend of the player if he reached the final. The player did not accept the offer and reported the approach as is required by the WPBSA Rules.
Due to the serious nature of the allegation, the WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson immediately suspended Blackwell pending disciplinary proceedings.
Blackwell was found in breach of the following WPBSA Rules:
22.214.171.124 to fix or contrive, or to be a party to any effort to fix or contrive, the result, score, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match;
126.96.36.199 to seek or accept or offer or agree to accept any bribe or other reward to fix or to contrive in any way or otherwise to influence improperly the result, score, progress, conduct or any other aspect of the Tour and/or any Tournament or Match;
188.8.131.52 to solicit, induce, entice, persuade, encourage or facilitate any Member to breach any of the foregoing provisions of this paragraph 2.1.2.
The Disciplinary Committee issued the following sanction:
- A suspension from playing or being involved in all Snooker events for a period of 18 months effective from 14 April 2022 (the date of his suspension by the Chairman of the WPBSA) until 23.59 on 15 October 2023
- To pay the costs of the Hearing fixed at £1,400.00 to the WPBSA by 15 June 2022.
Simon Blackwell has until 27th May 2022 to appeal the decision of the WPBSA Disciplinary Committee.
Nigel Mawer QPM the EPSB Chairman said “Any attempt to manipulate the outcome of any snooker match at any level is wholly unacceptable and very damaging to the sport. This applies equally to amateur players as well as professionals. The sentence in this case sends a very clear message that any such incidents will be dealt with severely”.