The fallout following the controversial Premier League darts line-up has even crept into football, with a rising Dutch star showing his support for the snubbed Luke Humphries.
The world number five, the winner of four European Tour events last year, was the highest-profile absentee as the PDC finally announced the eight-player list for the annual darting roadshow.
Last year’s runner-up Joe Cullen, who missed a match dart to beat Michael van Gerwen in the final, UK Open holder Danny Noppert and European champion Ross Smith have also missed out.
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Joining the world’s top four of Michael Smith, Van Gerwen, Peter Wright and Gerwyn Price instead will be Jonny Clayton, Dimitri Van den Bergh, Nathan Aspinall and recently-crowned Masters winner Chris Dobey.
Humphries, who had regarded as a shoo-in for the tournament, has not hidden his disappointment at the snub, tweeting: “Can’t deny that I’m incredibly gutted not to be involved in this years Premier league, I’ve really worked hard in 2022 to get the results I did, 5 senior ranking titles and 2 major semi finals, and All I can say is I’m proud of my achievement’s even if they wasn’t good enough.”
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And Cool Hand has received support from an unlikely place after Feyenoord’s Quilindschy Hartman aired his verdict. In response to the social media post by the PDC confirming the line-up, the 21-year-old left-back replied: “Humphries has been robbed.”
That view has been echoed by numerous fans, many of which were then enraged further as, barely 24 hours later, the PDC announced Humphries as the Pro Tour player of the Year. Many fans felt that made even more of a mockery of the decision not to include the Berkshire thrower in the Premier League.
But Humphries has kept his cool, tweeting following the award: “Thank you to the support shown over the last 24 hours! I really do appreciate it. Its a great accolade for myself. Worked incredibly hard for this award last year, will work even harder in 2023 to pick up more titles.”
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