The Betfred World Snooker Championship is currently ongoing at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield with the elites of the sport battling it out for the highest honours.
However, during the highly anticipated match between Ronnie O’Sullivan and Ali Carter, the duo clashed which overshadowed the game itself.
O’Sullivan succumbed to a surprising defeat in the second round of the championship, losing 13-9 to his long-term rival.
Having only lost once in 17 previous meetings, O’Sullivan went into the match as the favourite, yet Carter kept his composure throughout the entirety of the contest.
O’Sullivan trailed Carter 5-3, later extended to 8-3, before hitting back for a 9-7 overnight deficit.
The incident occurred when Carter led 11-8, as it seemed like O’Sullivan nearly collided with his compatriot at the side of the table while returning to his seat after fluking a snooker.
The five-time winner responded to Carter saying: “You're Mr Angry.”
O’Sullivan then told his opponent it was his turn to play, to which Carter replied: “Thank you very much, very nice of you.
“Stop being angry then,” O'Sullivan responded.
Referee Paul Collier quickly intervened and told both players: “Right fellas, just play on.”
1985 world champion Dennis Taylor admitted he had never witnessed such a bizarre altercation in 41 years at the Crucible.
Their famous duels during the 2008 and 2012 finals ended in favour of O’Sullivan, but this time, it was not meant to be.
Carter celebrated the famous win over his former practice partner and later stated: “I just thought, ‘Listen, I’m not intimidated by Ronnie like a lot of other players are, I’ve been through harder things than that in my life’.
“He barged me, but I’m sorry, I’m not going to be bullied by anyone.”
O’Sullivan, on the other hand, blamed the media for blowing the incident out of proportion.
The 42-year-old said: “You write the column inches and if you ring the editor and say Ronnie is a story, then it gets printed.
“If it is not, then you get a smaller column. I am not writing the headlines, I see where they are coming from but every sport has their Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. I happen to be the figure in snooker.
“I am not saying I win as much as them or have the records and I did not ask for that situation. I try to carry it the best I can.
“I am not an egotistical person. I did not sign up for that but over 25 years I have had some great play, an interesting life and people have been intrigued by it. You have helped to carry that story all the way through.
“Until I die, you will have to keep writing stuff. You cannot say: 'We have had 25 years of Ronnie, can we push him aside?'”
Carter is set to face Mark Williams or Robert Milkins in the quarter-finals of the world championship.