Snooker: Full capacity at Crucible Theatre for 2021 World Snooker Championship final in May

The 2021 World Snooker Championship final is set to be played in front of a capacity crowd at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield next month.

World Snooker announced on Wednesday that the return of fans will be staggered throughout the event.

The venue will operate at 33 per cent capacity for the first round of matches between April 17 and 21 before increasing to 50 per cent for the second round.

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A 75 per cent capacity crowd will be permitted for the quarter-finals and semi-finals.

The governing body says face coverings will be mandatory in the venue but social distancing “will not be expected” as the number of fans increases.

Fans under-18, vulnerable adults, and pregnant women will not be allowed to attend.

The tournament is part of the government’s pilot scheme to ensure fans can safely return to sporting and cultural venues.

Hendry urges White to keep playing snooker

Stephen Hendry has urged his old rival Jimmy White to dismiss thoughts of retirement after beating him in the first qualifying-round of the World Championship.

Hendry handed the six-time Crucible runner-up White another defeat on Monday night after beating him 6-3 in their much-anticipated clash.

That loss will more than likely leave the 58-year-old White needing to win at Q-School or accept an expected wild-card offer in order to avoid dropping off the professional tour.

White said he was unsure over his future plans in the wake of a performance he described as “horrendous”, but Hendry was more clear in his opinion.

“I think Jimmy should keep playing – he loves the game so much,” Hendry said. “When I retired, I faced the fact I couldn’t play. If he can somehow take the pressure off himself and not look at results, not think he can win tournaments, then just go out there and play.”

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