Michael van Gerwen issued a statement last night in response to Jonathan Worsley’s social media posts, following an altercation between the pair at the PDC Winter Series in Coventry.
Worsley was removed from the fifth and final event of the Winter Series on Saturday after making physical contact with the world No 1, following a disagreement regarding marking regulations.
In a Facebook post, the 36-year-old explained that he was warned by the PDC’s Tournament Director for wearing a shirt which breached the tournament dress code when marking a game on Wednesday, having been forced to change his shirt after spilling a drink over his match shirt.
Worsley then questioned why somebody marking on Van Gerwen’s behalf was permitted to do so in jeans and a t-shirt, although he insists he did not make a formal complaint over the issue.
The Welshman then revealed that he was confronted by Van Gerwen at the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, alleging that the Dutchman attempted to ‘intimidate’ him and continuously called him a ‘rat’.
It was reported that the pair’s confrontation continued outside the arena in Coventry, where Worsley admits he pushed the Dutchman, which subsequently saw him removed from the tournament ahead of his scheduled clash against Daryl Gurney.
However, Van Gerwen also endured a disappointing afternoon. Having received a bye through to the second round, the three-time world champion was beaten 6-4 by an impressive Callan Rydz, who averaged 100.7 in claiming the scalp of ‘Mighty Mike’.
Worsley’s comments sparked considerable debate across social media and as a result, Van Gerwen issued the following statement on Saturday evening: “After seeing many things placed and said on social media over the last few hours, I have a short statement to make.
“This morning at the PDC Winter Series, Jonathan [Worsley] and myself did have crossed words over the marking of games at the Winter Series. The reason the PDC Tournament Director had words with him, as he wanted to mark in a Rugby shirt, not just a regular shirt.
“I admit to calling him a rat in the exchange of words. We are all colleagues, he could have come and had a quiet word with me if he felt there was a problem.
“When we were outside, I was still unhappy that he had not come to me first, and our discussion continued. Yes, again, I did call him a rat. At this point, Jonathan tried to lay his hands on me, that was seen by colleagues. The way they dealt with it was very professional.
“The PDC spoke with everyone who was there, and well all know once that has happened, there is only one outcome. You will be removed from the tournament, it is as simple as that.
“We all know that you cannot place your hands on another player as he did. We all know this. The way everything was dealt with today was very professional.
“As far as I am concerned, the matter has now been dealt with by the PDC and we move on. All my focus is now on the Grand Slam of Darts and I will not be answering any further questions on this matter.“
Van Gerwen’s focus now switches to the Grand Slam of Darts, which gets underway on Monday. The world No 1 has been pitted alongside an in-form Joe Cullen, World Cup semi-finalist Gabriel Clemens and debutant Adam Hunt in Group A of the cross-code event.
However, it remains unclear yet as to whether either Worsley or Van Gerwen will face disciplinary action from the Darts Regulation Authority.
Image Credit: Lawrence Lustig/PDC