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Michael van Gerwen ruled out of the World Darts Championship with Covid

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“The control has not been strong enough” blasts Van Gerwen after World Championship withdrawal

Jamie Shaw in World Darts Championship 28 Dec 2021
Van Gerwen has his say (Photo by Steve Welsh/PDC)

Michael van Gerwen has hit out at the PDC’s Covid protocols following his withdrawal from the World Darts Championship due to a positive test.

The three-time World Champion was removed from the competition after returning a positive Covid-19 test ahead of his scheduled Third Round match with Chris Dobey on Tuesday.

Van Gerwen joins Vincent van der Voort in departing Ally Pally without throwing a dart following the Christmas break after his Dutch compatriot also tested positive on Monday.

MVG had spent Christmas Eve with Van der Voort, Dirk van Duijvenbode and their manager, though all had tested negative.

Van Gerwen and Van der Voort are now both in quarantine at the players’ hotel in London’s Hilton Islington.

The world number three gave his first reaction to AD Sportwereld, and admitted: “It’s the biggest nightmare you can imagine.

“Of course our health is the most important thing, but you’re here to win the tournament.

”We get to sit here together now, but we had imagined this very differently. Again, this is really the biggest nightmare.”

“They [family] are all sad too. They know what I have done for them. That it has to end like this, unbelievable.

“I could have fooled everyone, but I won’t. I want to be able to look at myself in the mirror. People die from corona, so you don’t do that. It is my moral duty.”

Van Gerwen was heavily critical of the tournament organisers for ‘not doing enough’ to minimise the risk of spreading of the virus and feels the measures could have been more stringent.

Fans and event staff are required to show either proof of vaccination or a negative lateral flow upon arrival at Alexandra Palace and masks must be worn when moving around the venue.

Van Gerwen added: “They should check everyone at the door every day, they didn’t do it. According to the British government they don’t have to. But to protect your own organisation and the World Championship, it would have been handy.

“The PDC will always say they followed the rules of the government, but they could have looked at it more closely. The control has not been strong enough.

“It’s as leaky as a sieve, now I pay a high price. I didn’t do anything, that makes it even more sour. It’s just awful. It’s going to take a while to come to terms with this.”

The 32-year-old admits he had taken the necessary precautions to minimize the risk of contracting the virus and is baffled as to how he ended up testing positive.

“Vincent [Van der Voort] and I didn’t even go to the breakfast room because we thought it was too crowded there,” added Van Gerwen.

“We were all tested negative. I test myself here every day, I don’t know where I got it. Yet we are the losers.”

As a result of MVG’s withdrawal, Dobey will receive a bye into the Last 16 – where he will face Dave Chisnall or Luke Humphries.

Raymond van Barneveld revealed he had tested positive following his Second Round defeat to Rob Cross last week, while Spain’s Juan Rodriguez withdrew prior to the tournament following a positive test.


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