Hong Kong pool players at centre of match-fixing allegation
The Hong Kong Billiard Sports Control Council expressed surprise yesterday after learning that two of their players could have been involved in an alleged fixed match.
Stephen Lee, snooker's former world No 5, was banned yesterday for fixing matches, and it seems that pool is also under the spotlight.
Andrew Kong Bu-hong and Lee Chen-man, both members of the Hong Kong team and scholarship athletes at the Sports Institute, played against Russia in the World Cup of Pool in London last week, losing the first-round match 7-5.
It was reported in Britain that footage of the match was sent to the World Pool Association in Australia after all major British bookmakers suspended betting on the match.
Asian bookmakers apparently changed the odds on a Russia win from evens to 1-14, alerting the promoters.
"We haven't heard anything from the world body regarding any wrongdoing in the match," said a council spokesman. "We know the match was played on the TV table and Kong felt a bit nervous and failed to deliver his best, while Lee did his best to try to save the match.
"We will have to wait to hear from the world governing body to see if any further action is to be taken."
Stephen Lee was banned for 12 years after being found guilty of seven charges of match-fixing, snooker's world governing body announced.
The 38-year-old was found guilty by an independent tribunal last week of match-fixing charges relating to seven matches in 2008 and 2009.
Jason Ferguson, the chairman of the World Professional Snooker and Billiards Association, the sport's global governing body, said: "We take no pride in having to deal with such serious issues.
"However this demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that snooker is free from corruption.
"It is an important part of our anti-corruption approach that players found to be involved in fixing matches or any aspect of a match are severely dealt with. We work closely with partners globally and the message we are sending is that if you get involved in match-fixing you will be found out and removed from the sport."
Additional reporting by Agence France-Presse