Jack Lisowski banned from wearing Ukraine flag at World Snooker Championship

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World No.14 Lisowski claims he ‘wasn’t allowed’ to wear Ukraine's colours as he is not from the war-torn country
World No.14 Lisowski claims he ‘wasn’t allowed’ to wear Ukraine's colours as he is not from the war-torn country

By Ben Parsons at the Crucible

Jack Lisowski is baffled by his ban on bearing the Ukraine flag at the World Snooker Championship.

World No.14 Lisowski claims he ‘wasn’t allowed’ to wear Ukraine's colours as he is not from the war-torn country.

The Cheltenham born player had a Ukraine badge stitched into his waistcoat in last month's Gibraltar Open as a show of solidarity against Russia’s invasion.

Lisowski’s grandad heralds from Ukraine and the war is close to his heart.

But the 30-year-old has been told by World Snooker that he cannot wear the country’s flag at the Crucible.

"Everyone would agree with supporting Ukraine so why the hell can't I wear it?” he said.

"It's something that's close to my heart. My grandad's Ukrainian, my dad's been out there.

"It's very sad with what's going on. I tried to wear it and they told me I couldn't unless I was Ukrainian.

"I've got some Ukrainian in me, but it wasn't enough so I got the badge taken off my waistcoat.

"I played with it on for a few tournaments, I wanted to wear it but I wasn't allowed."

World Snooker Tour (WST) responded by stating the sport cannot be used as a ‘political platform.’

A WST statement read: “As an international sport we have always adopted a policy of political neutrality, and to that end, our policy is to not allow our sport to be used as a political platform at the World Championship.

“We are strongly against the invasion of any sovereign nation and all forms of violence or oppression.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the people who are suffering as a result of the current conflict in Ukraine.”

Lisowski faces tournament favourite Neil Robertson in the last 16 in Sheffield after beating Matthew Stevens 10-8 in round one.

He added: "I'm trying to get a (Ukraine) flag. If I beat Robertson, I'll be waving the flag in the arena."

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