STUART BINGHAM says Matt Selt’s two-tournament ban for ‘offensive’ tweets is “harsh” and is concerned about the growing problem of internet trolling.

Selt, 31, felt the governing body’s decision to exclude him from this month’s Riga Masters and August’s Paul Hunter Classic is “draconian” after he was punished for a Twitter exchange with a member of the public.

And he received some sympathy from Bingham, who has been repeatedly subjected to online abuse on social media for many years now.

Bingham said: “I do not know the specifics of Matt’s case but I do know it does not help when you get abused by online trolls.

“Some of the stuff they say to you is just ridiculous and often very personal and it really is hard to bite your lip all the time.

“That said, we all know that in our World Snooker contract it says we must watch our conduct on social media so I guess this is a clear warning to everyone else.

“But I do feel a bit sorry for Matt in this instance because the ban for two events does seem a bit harsh.”

Bingham has just got his season off to the perfect start with three relatively straight forward wins from three qualifying events in Preston.

Ball Run beat Cao Yupeng (4-0) to book his Indian Open spot, Eden Sharav (5-3) for a World Open place, and Daryll Hill (4-1) for entry into this month’s Riga Masters (June 22-24) where he will face Lee Walker.

World No 2 Bingham said: “It was a good way to start the season and it was all set up by me pinching the first frame against Yupeng. It really could have gone either way but after that my game felt good all week.

“The Sharav match was tough though because he has improved a lot and was punishing me when he got the chance.

"But I never felt in any trouble against Hill and it was good to win all three - which was important to me and my aim at the start of the week.

“Last year - after winning the world championships the previous season - was disappointing overall and I want to get back to winning ways with a trophy.

“I have not any set priorities as such, but I want to qualify for the Champion of Champions and I’ve also seen that I will be ranked 17th of the provisional list - so I need to improve on that.

“But overall I just want to win a tournament again at some point. I am not targeting a specific one because whether it is Latvia or the World Championships – they are all tough.

“For now I am focussing on Riga, with is a lovely place to visit. And now it has been switched from a European Tour event to a minor ranking one, and doubled the prize money, it would be a good one to do well in.”

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