‘Angry’ Michael Van Gerwen questions Covid controls after shock championship exit

Michael Van Gerwen has denounced tournament organizers after being “disappointed, confused and angry” after his withdrawal from the William Hill World Darts Championship due to testing positive for Covid-19.

The three-time champion was due to play in the third round on Tuesday night at Alexandra Palace against Chris Dobey, who secured a pass to the round of 16.

Van Gerwen, who is asymptomatic, becomes the third player to contract the virus during this year’s championship.

“Really disappointed, confused, angry with the way my world championship is ending,” the Dutchman wrote on Twitter.

“I never expected this result because I thought I had done everything to avoid it. I don’t have any symptoms either.

“To close this year of (sic) very quickly. Fans, I will come back stronger!

Van Gerwen was less than impressed with this turn of events, which follows compatriot Vincent Van Der Voort also having tested positive and forced into solitary confinement.

“Of course our health is the most important thing, but you are here to win the tournament,” Van Gerwen told Dutch media AD Sportwereld.

“I never saw it coming. Vincent and I were almost nowhere. We didn’t even go to the breakfast room (at the hotel) because we thought there was too much. people there.

“We can sit here together now, but we imagined it very differently. Again, this is truly the biggest nightmare.

“I test myself here every day. I don’t know where I got it. Yet we are the losers.

Vincent Van Der Voort was also forced to leave the tournament following a positive Covid-19 test (Adam Davy / PA)

Raymond Van Barneveld had tested positive after starting to feel bad following his 3-1 loss to Rob Cross on Thursday night.

Van Der Voort was then forced to retire ahead of his scheduled game against James Wade on Monday.

Following Van Barneveld’s positive test, organizers insisted that all necessary precautions were in place to protect both players and fans at the event.

Van Gerwen, however, believes more could be done to limit the spread of the virus.

“In fact, they have to check everyone at the door every day, they didn’t. According to the British government it is not necessary, but to protect your own organization and the world championship it would have been useful, ”said the Dutchman.

“The PDC will say at any time that it followed the government’s rules, but they could have been looked at more closely.

“The control was not strong enough. It’s just a big corona bomb now.

“It’s as pierced as a basket, now I’m paying a heavy price for it. I didn’t do anything at all, that makes things even more sour.

Responding to Van Gerwen’s comments, the PDC told the PA News Agency on Tuesday night: “We hope Vincent and Michael remain healthy and share their disappointment that they were unable to continue in the tournament.

“We will not comment on the circumstances of individual players and we continue to follow approved protocols at the William Hill World Darts Championship, which includes testing for all players involved in the event.”

Martijn Kleermaker in action against Joe Cullen
Martijn Kleermaker held on to fend off a Joe Cullen retaliation (Bradley Collyer / PA)

The withdrawal of third seed Van Gerwen will open the draw, with Dobey ahead of either Dave Chisnall or Luke Humphries for a place in the quarter-finals.

In Tuesday afternoon’s session, Martijn Kleermaker beat Joe Cullen 4-3 in their third round game.

The Dutchman, who was making his Alexandra Palace debut, had taken a three-set lead, only for Cullen to launch a retaliation and force a decider, with Kleermaker winning 4-2.

Players’ Championship runner-up Ryan Searle beat Danny Noppert 4-2 to advance to the final 16, while Mervyn King previously claimed a 4-0 victory over Irishman Steve Lennon.

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