Sir Rodney Walker, the WPBSA chairman, has become unusually publicity shy.
Responding to a request by Phil Yates of The Times for a comment about the betting irregularities surrounding the Stephen Maguire v Jamie Burnett match at the Maplin UK Championship, he would not give one.
The governing body he chairs has not even stated whether they are investigating this match and refuse to answer questions about it.
It is pretty much the only topic of conversation backstage in Telford. When Burnett fluked the pink, a huge ironic cheer went up in a packed players’ room, followed by an even louder one when he missed the black.
Players scurried into the media centre to watch the press conferences.
What most people can’t believe – regardless of what actually happened in the match – is that the WPBSA are remaining silent.
It isn’t good enough.
Snooker’s integrity hangs by a thread. The governing body cannot merely bury its head in the sand and hope it all goes away.
Stephen Hendry has spoken out, and credit to him. He told the Daily Record: “If any player is caught match-fixing they deserve to be banned for life. It’s such a serious issue no player can go unpunished.”
Clive Everton has also called for an investigation and many commentators – players of the old school who came into the game when there was little money available and who were grateful to be able to make a living from snooker – are absolutely appalled by the whole affair.
The WPBSA needs to show leadership. They did so when Peter Francisco lost 10-2 to Jimmy White at the 1995 World Championship, another match with suspicious betting patterns.
A panel of former players was convened to watch the match back on tape and Francisco was swiftly found guilty and banned for five years.
This whole process was conducted openly and the WPBSA regime of the time actively encouraged the media to report it because they wanted to be seen to be getting their house in order.
How times change.
This defeaning silence over an affair that has seriously harmed snooker’s reputation has to end and it has to end before the tournament is over.