Mark Allen has apologised to Cao Yupeng for his comments after losing to the Chinese in the first round of the World Snooker Championship.

“Following my recent comments in the press conference after my first round defeat to Cao Yupeng, I would like to formally apologise to anyone who may have been offended,” said the 26—year— old Northern Irishman, who was upset 6—10 by the championship debutant Cao.

“Having taken some time to reflect on my comments, I can appreciate that I overstepped the line at a time when I was heavily influenced by the emotions of a disappointing defeat.”

Allen, the World No. 11, admitted his opponent played much better in the match Sunday, but claimed Cao hadn’t told the referee a foul shot he made when leading 5—4.

“I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Cao Yupeng if he felt that my comments were insinuating he was a cheat,” the statement added.

But Allen still insisted on his viewpoint. “I stand by my opinion that the shot in question was a foul, but I also stand by my previous comments in the press conference that Cao was the better player and fully deserved to win. I genuinely wish him the best of luck for the rest of the tournament.”

It’s not the first time that Allen’s remarks raised a controversy.

He was recently fined 1,000 pounds sterling for comments made in China during the Haikou World Open last month, and now faces further action after World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association (WPBSA) showed their displeasure over his comments.

According to BBC, Allen took to his Twitter account to criticise conditions in Haikou as “horrendous”.

“Dead cat found this morning,” he tweeted. “Any wonder this place stinks. Must be dead cats all round the town.”

He won the event and later stood by his comments, insisting: ” It would be nicer to play tournaments in the UK, but I have to go where the money is.”

WPBSA Chairman Jason Ferguson said Monday: “The WPBSA is responsible for the governance of snooker worldwide and takes very seriously comments made which could be perceived to be directed at a particular nation.”

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