Gerwyn Price wants PDC World Darts Championship postponed after third Covid case12/29/2021
Dave Chisnall has become the latest Covid casualty at Ally Pally – and now defending champion Gerwyn Price says the rest of the tournament should be deferred.
Hours before his scheduled third-round tie against Luke Humphries, Chizzy tested positive for the virus, making him the third player in the last 32 to pull out because of the plague after Vincent van der Voort and Michael van Gerwen.
It is another huge setback for the William Hill PDC World Championship, where Chisnall's 5-0 whitewash of MVG in the quarter-finals 12 months ago was a sensational performance.
While Humphries is now handed a bye to the last 16, PDC bosses must consider tightening their Covid-proofing to ensure the tournament does not degenerate into farce with more holes in the draw than surviving ties.
Price, who is scheduled to meet Dirk van Duijvenbode in the fourth round tonight, reacted to the latest sick note on his Instagram account, posting: “Tournament needs to be postponed.”
Later, to clarify his position – possibly under pressure from darts bosses – Price added: "I've been in their position so I feel for the players that have had to withdraw.
"There's a lot of hard work gone into getting the World Championships on so postponing probably isn't the best option but an option I wouldn't disagree with."
Should the PDC Darts World Championship be postponed? Let us know in the comments section below.
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Van der Voort and Van Gerwen's cases can be linked because they attended the same Christmas dinner at their manager's London home.
But Chisnall's enforced withdrawal is a huge worry for the PDC because it has no links to the Dutch enclave.
And for the tournament to survive until the final on January 3, there may have to be a root-and-branch review of protocols for players and fans.
Among the measures requiring urgent consideration should be fans having to wear masks in the main arena at Alexandra Palace, certified testing for players (where their lateral flow checks are witnessed) and a New Year's Eve curfew.
To lose 10 per cent of the field in the third round has caused three dents in Sky Sports' 100 hours-plus schedule.
But any more significant withdrawals would risk turning the PDC's showpiece, with £500,000 to the winner, into a lottery.
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