Higgins close to comeback

World number four John Higgins is set to return from his six-month ban tomorrow when he competes in the Euro Players Tour Championship in Hamm, Germany.

World number four John Higgins is set to return from his six-month ban tomorrow when he competes in the Euro Players Tour Championship in Hamm, Germany.

The three-time world champion will face Joe Jogia in the first round of the competition as he makes a tentative return to action.

The 35-year-old was cleared of match-fixing in September but fined £75,000 after admitting breaching rules around betting following an investigation into allegations of frame-throwing made by the News of the World.

The Scot’s suspension began when the allegations surfaced in May, but now he is poised to resume competition for the first time since the World Championship where he suffered a shock defeat by Steve Davis in the second round.

It was in the following week that the fateful meeting involving Higgins, his manager Pat Mooney and undercover reporters from the newspaper took place in a hotel room in Kiev with the allegations published on the first day of the World Championship final.

Earlier this week Higgins admitted he was anxious as to what kind of reception he will receive from his fellow professionals in Germany, describing the prospect as “like going to the dentist” and acknowledged the stigma may always live with him.

Six-time world champion Davis believes it will take time for Higgins to be fully accepted by his rivals although reigning world champion Neil Robertson said last month he would be welcoming Higgins back.

It will also be a prelude to Higgins’ return to action in Great Britain when he competes at the UK Championship from December 4 to 12.

Should Higgins prevail against Jogia, the world number 60, he will face the winner of the match between Dave Harold and Danny Douane.

More in this section

Sport Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up