Internet problems delay draw for snooker's Betfred World Championship

The Betfred World Championship got off to a bad start this morning when the draw for the tournament was delayed due to technical difficulties.

World Professional Snooker and Billiards Association chairman Jason Ferguson and 1986 world champion Joe Johnson were due to conduct the draw at 10am, but a problem with internet access at Sheffield's Crucible Theatre meant it was put back to midday.

Mark Selby was waiting to learn who he would face on Saturday morning when, as defending champion, he is due to get the tournament underway.

When the draw eventually took place, top seed Selby landed a clash with fellow English player Joe Perry.

The seeds were paired with the 16 players who clinched their places through qualifying on Wednesday.

Five-time champion Ronnie O'Sullivan was handed a tough starter against Scotland's Stephen Maguire, while Judd Trump was given an opening assignment against debutant Chris Wakelin.

John Higgins, a four-time winner of the tournament, will start against Thailand's Thepchaiya Un-Nooh.

Of the other likely title contenders, Ding Junhui will play fellow Chinese cueman Xiao Guodong first, Mark Williams takes on Jimmy Robertson, Neil Robertson faces Robert Milkins and Shaun Murphy tackles Jamie Jones.

    Draw for the first round of the Betfred World Championship, which begins on Saturday:

  • Mark Selby v Joe Perry
  • Mark Allen v Liam Highfield
  • Kyren Wilson v Matthew Stevens
  • Shaun Murphy v Jamie Jones
  • John Higgins v Thepchaiya Un-Nooh
  • Stuart Bingham v Jack Lisowski
  • Luca Brecel v Ricky Walden
  • Judd Trump v Chris Wakelin
  • Ding Junhui v Xiao Guodong
  • Anthony McGill v Ryan Day
  • Marco Fu v Lyu Haotian
  • Barry Hawkins v Stuart Carrington
  • Mark Williams v Jimmy Robertson
  • Neil Robertson v Robert Milkins
  • Ali Carter v Graeme Dott
  • Ronnie O'Sullivan v Stephen Maguire

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