'You play it then?' Ronnie O'Sullivan tells ref to take shot as row erupts over snooker

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Ronnie O’Sullivan has ignited a row among snooker fans with a surreal referee altercation during his World Championship final against Judd Trump. The ‘Rocket’ is vying to join Stephen Hendry at the top of the all-time list with seven titles, but had something of a skirmish with referee Olivier Marteel on Sunday. 

With O’Sullivan 2-1 up, he was keen to ensure that the official was aware of the position of the white ball due to being in a snooker. He thought he could catch the edge but missed, and TV replays were needed to replace it.

After replacing the ball, Marteel claimed he could see a glimmer of the red, adding: “You can flick it on the left-hand side.” O’Sullivan then drew laughter from the Crucible when he responded: “No, I can’t. You try?” before gesturing to hand over the cue. 

While many of those in attendance clearly enjoyed the drama of the altercation, some fans deemed it disrespectful to Marteel and expressed sympathy. On Twitter, @bowden_vic said: “Typical Ronnie attitude… is the ref supposed to keep a micrometer in his pocket?”

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