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No Foul Play Suspected

Terry CamilleriIt is often said that sporting referees are at their best when nobody notices them (Josh Robinson writes).

When Terry Camilleri took charge of the match between John Higgins and Ali Carter at the Betway UK Championship on Monday, he had less reason to be involved than usual.

The second round tie, which Higgins won 6-2, lasted 150 minutes, with 811 total points scored and 242 balls potted. And remarkably, not a single foul was committed.

Marker for the contest was Peter Williamson, who has almost 25 years of experience in the professional game and could not recall another match without any penalty points.

Camilleri said: “It’s the first match I’ve refereed where there were no fouls, it’s very strange. I didn’t notice it until we finished and Peter told me. It was a good game, a good performance by both players.”

Malta’s 41-year-old Camilleri wanted to become involved with snooker from an early age and he is now regarded as one of the leading referees.

“I used to play snooker as a kid,” he said. “Obviously I wanted to know the rules. There was a tournament being held in Malta and I applied to go on a refereeing course, which I passed. I was asked soon after to referee some matches – I did and it started from there. I knew Tony Drago before I started my career as he was already a pro at that time but I then got to know him better.”

Camilleri, who has officiated in the professional game since 2001, was put in charge of the UK Championship final last year – where Ronnie O’Sullivan beat Judd Trump 10-9 in a thriller. “It was a classic match,” he recalls.

There has been much talk about slow play this week, and Camilleri agrees it’s something that needs to be addressed. In fact, away from snooker he’s a Manchester United fan so he has seen negative tactics employed on the football pitch this season.

He added: “Sometimes in sport people play for the results and not the entertainment. At the end of the day it’s a sport and you have to entertain people – hopefully United will do the same.”