Snooker’s world championship has been postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic, the World Snooker Tour announced on Friday.

The tournament was scheduled to be played from April 18 to May 4 at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield. The WST said it was aiming to stage the event in July or August instead. On Tuesday, the Tour Championship in Wales, scheduled to take place this week, was postponed until July 21-26.

WST chairman Barry Hearn said in a statement on Friday: “These are tough times for everyone but we are determined to get through it.”

“I can assure everyone that we are doing all we can alongside our broadcasters, the venues and other partners to confirm new dates as soon as possible,” he added.

“Snooker players are self-employed, they need opportunities to earn prize money so we have a responsibility to them. We are currently exploring the potential to stage tournaments behind closed doors to keep the circuit alive.”