Published On: Mon, Mar 11th, 2024

PDC darts star punches opponent in feisty encounter after losing match | Other | Sport

Adam Smith-Neale punched his opponent in a shocking moment during a county match defeat. It is unclear what provoked the attack but the incident enraged some of the attendees, with one man shoving Smith-Neale in retaliation.

Security camera footage shows that the incident happened on March 9, with Smith-Neale – seen wearing a green t-shirt – clearly unhappy with his opponent. The player, who is reported to be a local competitor, hits a winning double and turns around to shake Smith-Neale’s hand.

The pair did not shake hands and Smith-Neale waited several moments before hitting his opponent. It is unclear if something was said to the 30-year-old to provoke the punch.

Smith-Neale and the individual continue to exchange words, with the opponent walking away from the board. He was followed by Smith-Neale who continued to shout angrily.

A man who had watched the match then came from behind Smith-Neale and pushed him away. He then shoved him again before Smith-Neale argued back.

The PDC have confirmed they will investigate the incident. They told Express Sport: “The PDC are aware of a video from a non-affiliated event, featuring a Tour Card Holder, which is circulating on social media. The Darts Regulation Authority have been made aware and are investigating this appropriately.”

The Coventry-born Smith-Neale won back his PDC Tour card in 2023 and has therefore been able to compete at the highest level for the 2023 and 2024 seasons. Nicknamed Big Dog, he had previously lost his tour card in 2012 before regaining it 11 years later.

Ranked 82 in the world, Smith-Neale was recently beaten by Patrick Geeraets in the first round of the UK Open. In February, he lost to Raymond van Barneveld in the Players Championship.

Last year, former professional player Paul Nicholson claimed that Smith-Neale was “universally unpopular” within the sport.

“In all the time I’ve been involved in the sport, I’ve never known anyone as universally unpopular among the darting fraternity as Adam Smith-Neale,” Nicholson wrote for Sporting Life. “And that’s saying something considering some of the competition for that honour.

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