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World Darts Championship 2020/21 Day One preview and order of play: Wright commences title defence

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Wright kick-starts World Championship title defence as Portela and Smith also prevail

World Darts Championship to be held behind closed doors from December 16

Jamie Shaw in World Darts Championship 14 Dec 2020
No fans will be permitted between December 16-23 (Photo by Lawrence Lustig/PDC)

The World Darts Championship will be played behind closed doors from December 16-23 following the announcement by the UK Government on Monday.

Tier 3 restrictions will be imposed on London from midnight on Wednesday December 16, preventing fans from being able to attend at Alexandra Palace after Tuesday’s opening night.

That decision will be subject to review on December 23, with a further announcement in relation to tickets for the post-Christmas action in the World Championship to be made in due course.

As a result, the opening night on Tuesday December 15 will still go ahead with a crowd before the event moves behind closed doors the following afternoon.

All fans with tickets for the sessions from December 16-23 will automatically be refunded for the face value of their tickets to the payment card from which they made the purchase.

Up to 1,000 fans were expected for each session of the sport’s show-piece event, which runs from December 15 to January 3.

Tuesday evening will be the first session of darts to feature a crowd in the UK since the Premier League night in Liverpool back in March.

Reigning World Champion Peter Wright begins his title defence against either Steve West or Indian qualifier Amit Gilitwala.

Canada’s Jeff Smith takes on Irish youngster Keane Barry, while former Lakeside Champion Steve Beaton faces Brazil’s Diogo Portela.