Hamza Akbar forced to pull out of snooker championship following visa issue

Faizan Lakhani
Snooker player Hamza Akbar. Photo: File 

Pakistan’s top snooker player Hamza Akbar has been forced to pull out of the World Snooker Championship (WSC) qualifying rounds in Sheffield after being unable to obtain a visa.

Hamza was due to play against his Moroccan competitor, Amine Amiri, in the first round on Wednesday and planned to travel to England on Monday but will not be able to do so.

While speaking to Geo Super, Hamza expressed his disappointment over missing the tournament and blamed logistic issues due to the Covid-19 pandemic for his inability to participate.

Furthermore a statement from the organisers confirmed that the former Asian Champion has pulled out from the WSC.

They added that the World Snooker Tour (WST) and World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) did its best to assist the snooker player in the visa process but their efforts did not materialise. 

"Both the WST and WPBSA had been working with their contacts at the visa office and exhausted every avenue but unfortunately they were unsuccessful," WST said in a statement.

Following Hamza’s exit, Amiri received a bye and will proceed into the second round.

Hamza, a former Pakistan and Asian champion, was invited to participate in the World Snooker Championship based on his 2019 Q School ranking where he finished 8th from over 230 participants.


Hamza Akbar forced to pull out of snooker championship following visa issue