Cross pulled no punches in an emotional post-match interview (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Rob Cross has branded the Cologne crowd “the most disrespectful I’ve ever played against” after suffering defeat to home favourite Gabriel Clemens in the German Darts Masters on Saturday.
Cross, the world number two, was beaten 8-5 by an inspired Clemens in the Quarter-Finals despite a 105.8 average but was visibly unhappy with the lack of order from the partisan Cologne crowd.
Clemens went on to reach the final, his first in front of the television cameras, where he was eventually denied by Peter Wright.
In a raw post-match interview with Live Darts, Cross revealed his frustration at what he believes is a lack of respect from German crowds towards the opponents of German players.
“Every time you play in Germany, and I will be honest, it’s tough,” said the 2018 World Champion.
“I only come to darts to earn a living, I only want to provide for my family.
“Every time you come and play in Germany, it’s the most disrespectful crowd if you play a German.
“I understand they want a big star but it maybe doesn’t help their players because the World Championship is in England and there they don’t get that kind of support.
“That’s probably the most disrespectful crowd I’ve ever played against.
“Everyone has to put up with this but in fairness, we play in England and we don’t get booed, we play in Germany and we get booed. Holland isn’t even that bad.
“Everyone else can be civil but they’re just disrespectful all the time.
“I can understand they want their people to do well and they have some great players, but if you’re a player and you rely on that crowd behind you to perform, it won’t help you elsewhere.
“The crowd backing pumps them up but puts other players off, I wouldn’t say it’s a fair playing field in Germany, that’s just that.”
Cross praised the performance of Clemens, who averaged 99.2, and believes the ‘German Giant’ can go on to become his country’s leading darter.
He added: “Personally, I think Gabriel could be the German number one, he’s that good.
“He runs consistently high averages – he’s brilliant.”