Defending champion Gerwyn Price admits he ‘wouldn’t disagree’ with the World Darts Championship being postponed, after Dave Chisnall became the third player in as many days to be ruled out after testing positive for Covid-19.
Chisnall was scheduled to take on UK Open runner-up Luke Humphries for a place in the last 16 on Wednesday afternoon, but last year’s semi-finalist joins Michael van Gerwen and Vincent van der Voort in withdrawing from the event following a positive test.
Humphries receives a bye through to the last 16 to take on Chris Dobey, who also received a bye after three-time world champion Van Gerwen was ruled out 24 hours earlier.
‘Mighty Mike’ took to social media last night to voice his frustration, tweeting: “Really disappointed, confused, angry…the way how my World Championship is ending.
“Never expected this outcome as I thought I did everything in my possibility to avoid it. Also ain’t got any symptoms.”
Dutch legend Raymond van Barneveld was the first player at this year’s tournament to contract Covid-19, although the five-time world champion tested positive following his defeat to 2018 champion Rob Cross in round two.
Spain’s Juan Francisco Rodriguez also withdrew prior to the tournament following a positive test.
Chisnall’s withdrawal prompted calls in some quarters for the tournament to be postponed, with Price writing: ‘Tournament needs to be postponed” on Instagram.
The world No 1, who plays Dirk van Duijvenbode for a place in the quarter-finals on Wednesday night, was forced to pull out of this year’s Premier League due to Covid-19, and following Van Gerwen’s departure, he claimed the tournament had been ‘devalued’.
“Now this tournament is devalued. I’d rather play the best to be the best, absolutely feel sick for these players having to pull out over Covid,” Price added.
“I’ve been in their position so I feel for the players that have had to withdraw,” he then elaborated.
“There’s a lot of hard work gone into getting events like the World Championships on so postponing probably isn’t the best option, but an option I wouldn’t disagree with. Time to keep myself safe and out of touch. Keep safe all.”