By Phil Lanning
MICHAEL van Gerwen admitted it was “the biggest downer of his career” after his World Championship dream was shattered by a positive Covid test.
The three-times champion was forced to withdraw from the Ally Pally last night before he was due to face Chris Dobey.
It was a massive blow for MVG and the tournament with one of the favourites forced to sit out in isolation.
This latest case added to Raymond van Barneveld and Vincent Van der Voort plus commentator Paul Nicholson and a number of officials also suffering from the virus and now forced to isolate away from the venue.
Defending champion Gerwyn Price even stated that the entire event was now “devalued”.
But MVG, 31, told Dutch news AD: “I got the result this (Tuesday) afternoon. Then the world collapses for a while. It’s that simple.
“We’ve done so much, we’re really amazed. We’ve done everything we can to prevent this.
“Normally I sometimes eat out in London, we haven’t done that now.
“We even left breakfast in the hotel room to avoid the crowds. I haven’t been anywhere for the past few weeks. All to make sure I didn’t get it.
“If you look at how many positive cases there are in the organisation itself, including referees and players, then maybe there has not been strict enough control.
“They act according to the rules of the British government, but in my opinion they should have tested everyone on arrival, from security guards to players.
“That is easy to say afterwards, but it would have been better for me.
“Anyway, the organisation is also terribly disappointed. Nobody is waiting for it, there are only losers.
“A pandemic and corona is bigger than a Michael van Gerwen match. I have to deal with this situation, but it is very sour. The biggest downer in my career.
“The PDC will always say that they have followed the rules of the government, but they could have been looked at more closely.
“It is as leaky as a basket, now I am paying a high price. I I didn’t do anything at all, that makes it extra sour. It’s just horrible.”
The Professional Darts Corporation also released a statement, saying: “We hope both Vincent and Michael remain in good health and share their disappointment that they were unable to continue in the tournament.
“We won’t comment on individual players circumstances and we continue to follow approved protocols at the William Hill World Darts Championship, which includes testing for all players involved in the event.”
Gerwyn Price went onto Instagram to state that the tournament wouldn’t mean the same without the Dutchman.
He said: “Now this tournament is devalued. I’d rather play the best to be the best, absolutely feel sick for these players having to pull out over covid…”
Images by Taylor Lanning.