Ronnie O’Sullivan says he agreed to play in snooker's Championship League after being told he can bring his own food

Ben Rumsby
Ronnie O'Sullivan of England plays a shot in the final match against Shaun Murphy of England on day 7 of World Snooker Shanghai Masters 2019 - Getty Images

Ronnie O’Sullivan has revealed he only agreed to play at snooker’s comeback tournament after being told he could bring his own food.

And the sport’s biggest star warned he could still pull out of the Championship League if he was unhappy with the safety measures put in place to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

O'Sullivan, who is due to play in the behind-closed-doors event from Friday afternoon, expressed his distrust of other people cooking his food during the pandemic, explaining no one had touched his food for the last 10 weeks, which included no takeaways.

Instead he would rather bring in cold food to the venue himself, such as chickpea curry, or chicken with salad, instead of taking any risks before a vaccine is found.

In quotes published in various newspapers, O’Sullivan said: “I don’t trust people cooking my own food at the hotel during these times. I have been told that will be okay, but you never know until you arrive there and see what happens.

“So when I get there, hopefully I feel safe, and if I don’t and I’m not happy, then my health has to come first and I could leave.

"I wouldn’t trust anyone else doing it right now. I will cook it at home, take it there, there’s a fridge in the room, and it’s only a day and a half. They said it would be fine, but let’s wait and see on the day.”

Safety measures at the Championship League include mandatory throat and nose Covid-19 tests, isolation in the on-site hotel, an empty arena, hand sanitiser and gloves that must be worn when not at the table.

O’Sullivan said he was “the first person” to stop shaking hands well before the outbreak and that he would maintain that policy for the rest of his career.