MARK Williams has again clashed with World Snooker this time accusing them of not letting him see his children before his world title defence got under way.
The Welshman claims he was not allowed a visit from his middle son Kian, 12, shortly before his first-round clash with Martin Gould at the Crucible.
Three-time world champion Williams tweeted: “World Snooker stopped my boy Kian from coming into my dressing room before my match to wish me luck and give me a high five because I used my two passes up and can’t have another. Pathetic.
“I know it’s ridiculous but it happened. I went to the Betfred lounge to see him before my match.”
Williams then posted a photo on social media of him and his two teenage sons, Kian and Connor, 15, under the message: “At least Betfred allowed me extra two passes for my boys before I played.
“Unbelievable. Only lounge we could get in.”
Half an hour before the match started Jason Ferguson, chairman of the sport’s governing body the WPBSA tweeted it was great “champion Mark Williams will grace the Crucible in defence of his crown”.
Father-of-three Williams hit back: “Is that why I had to come to the Betfred Lounge because you couldn’t give me the extra two passes for my kids to join me in my dressing room? Cheers boss.”
Judd Trump, the world No 7, also waded into the social-media argument, saying: “Think the commentators get more passes than the players.”
But World Snooker rubbished the claims, saying that the 32 players at the world championship are only permitted two passes each for their dressing room.
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SunSport understand Williams gave his two passes to his close pals Viv and Lee. A World Snooker spokesman said: “Every player in the event is allocated two backstage passes. And they can make their own decisions who give those to.
“At no point were his children refused entry.”
Defending champion Williams, 44, was accompanied to the event in Sheffield by ten members of his friends and family.
Williams later endorsed a message from follower and snooker fan Simon Thornley which said: “Clearly doing everything they can to unsettle you.
“Your face mustn’t fit when it comes to being Barry Hearn’s cash cow for the next 12 months. The best thing to do is go and win it all over again.”
This is the latest high-profile disagreement Williams has had with World Snooker.
On the eve of the tournament, he accused the governing body of “disrespect”, highlighting his lack of prominence in promotional material.
And his wife Joanne kicked-off on social media when his image was omitted from the official computer game.