Mark Williams has blamed referee Eirian Williams for his Shanghai Masters final defeat to Mark Selby.
Williams claimed the incident in the 17th frame (which I detail in the post below this one) had cost him the title.
He said: “I was robbed. The referee made such an appalling decision.
“I was right behind it and 100% it hit the pink first. He said it did then he turned around and said he didn’t see it.
“It’s an absolute joke. It cost me the tournament. The balls should have gone back. I don’t mind losing to anyone but the ref has cost me the title, no question.
“It was plain to see that he hit the pink. We didn't need to play it back. We should get Stevie Wonder to referee next time.”
Strong stuff, then. But if you watch the footage, (Eirian) Williams calls the miss after consulting with the players and walks over to (Mark) Williams to ask him if he will take it, which he could have done immediately. Selby, after all, had accepted the decision.
(Mark) Williams appears to ask for the freeze frame, only to be told that World Snooker do not have that facility at this tournament.
Selby then comes over, someone mentions a replay on an arena TV monitor and they turn to study it. At this point the earlier certainty it was pink first dissipates.
It was hard to tell on the replay but it looked like red first to me watching at home. However, Mark Williams was obviously a lot closer than I was and isn’t usually the sort to blame anything other than himself for defeat. TV replays are sometimes misleading.
I understand his frustration. Remember, these quotes were taken down literally minutes after the defeat.
There was no doubt his general demeanour changed dramatically after the incident and he was still seething at the end, which is very unlike him.
But it was a very difficult call for the referee to make, even after they had consulted the replays.
All a referee can do in that situation is give an honest opinion: which is what Eirian Williams did.
He also did his best to come to a decision that was agreed on by both players, although obviously Mark Williams sees things differently and, of course, the miss had been given and then retracted, which further confused matters.
I've known Eirian for a long time. Indeed, he had a cameo role in what remains one of the funniest things I've ever seen on the snooker circuit - in Shanghai nine years ago when Selby, jetlagged and confused, tried to hail a taxi to the venue at 1.30am, believing it was the afternoon. Eirian had to point out it was, in fact, pitch black outside.
He is a referee of integrity. Whether it was red or pink is a debate that, I suspect, will never be solved to the satisfaction of everyone.
If Eirian made a mistake it was perhaps in taking so much time but, again, all he was trying to do was come to the right decision.
However, he did actually originally call a miss, which (Mark) Williams could have taken without himself asking for further evidence.
I know (Mark) Williams doesn't see it that way and I respect that too because it was a strange, frustrating incident which had a huge bearing on the result, and the match arena at a key stage of a major final isn't always the best place for clear thinking.
Who is to say if they had put the balls back Selby wouldn't have fluked one and cleared up? Stranger things have happened.
This was an unfortunate incident at a vital time in the final. It reminded me a little of the John Higgins/Ronnie O'Sullivan UK Championship semi-final two years ago, which also threatened to turn on a difficult rules decision.
All in all a rather unedifying end to a gripping contest.