World No.9 James Wade has been subject to widespread criticism over his behaviour during his 3-2 win over Japan’s Seigo Asada at Alexandra Palace yesterday.
Englishman Wade was seen to feel the pressure applied by Asian Tour No. 2 player Asada in their World Championship match, attempting intimidation in a number of outbursts.
After levelling at 1-1, Wade was seen to approach Asada whilst making a fist and yelling in his face.
Asada nevertheless appeared unruffled by the aggression, and can be seen to shrug.
After the match, Wade remained unapologetic. Speaking to Sky Sports before a barrage of chanting fans, he said: “I done it for my son, my country. It’s all good, you know?
“I dug in deep there. It’s a magnificent feeling you know. I could’ve easily lost that.
“Like I say, I dug in, I done it for my son, my country. So, its good.”
When asked if there was any point in the match he ever felt in trouble, he replied: “From start to finish. I didn’t think he had that game in him. I really didn’t.
“Perhaps if I felt that he had that game in him, I probably would’ve prepared a little bit different, but, how I won that game I don’t know.
“But it’s about time that is, because I’ve lost so many games here that I shouldn’t have lost.”
When asked how much it had helped to win two previous tournaments, and whether it had given him more confidence, he replied: “No, not at all. My son, that’s ten months old, he texted me. He’s quite advanced and he said 'Dad, please don’t lose’.”
Asked about winning and the aggression that went with it, Wade said: “I kept giving it to him, I wanted to hurt him, I wanted to, you know, really hurt him in his face.
“And it wasn’t a great game but I wanted to hurt him and I wanted to progress, you know, and, that’s for my son, and, also for a bit of the UK.”
When congratulated for going through, he replied: “A miracle. But, yeah, thank you.”
Speaking after the match, former player and pundit Wayne Mardle commented: “That is just aggressive, that’s putting yourself on someone. That’s bullying. That’s just nasty.
“If any player thinks that’s acceptable then that’s unacceptable because that shouldn’t happen.”
Mardle went on to say “Does he mean he wanted to punch him in his face? What does he mean? I’m absolutely lost for words.
“That’s just not on. The intimidation, overly aggressive, I hope he wakes up in the morning and thinks ‘I’ve made a mistake there’.
“He can’t think that’s right and no one watching it can think its right. That’s thuggish behaviour, there’s no place in darts for that.”