The line-up of the fourth Malta Cup is now complete with World Snooker naming Domenic Dale and Marco Fu as the two remaining wild cards to make up the 20-player tournament to be played between February 4 and 10 at the Hilton Conference Centre.
The chosen players, both outside the top-16 ranking list for 2007/08, each won a ranking event this season.
Fu will play in Group 2 which also includes Ken Doherty, Neal Robertson, Joe Swail and Stephen Lee. Dale will feature in Group 4 along with Graeme Dott, Peter Ebdon, Mark Williams and Ding Jun Hui. World Snooker also announced that Joe Perry will be replacing Ronnie O'Sullivan.
Dominic Dale, nicknamed the Spaceman, winner of the year's Shanghai Masters, had a rather particular recipe when he was here in 2006 where he made the semi-finals stage of the Malta Cup. Two bottles of red wine a night and minimal practice has proved a winning formula.
Fu, 29, had his best ranking performance this season when he won the Grand Prix 2007.
Marco Fu Ka-chun, his full Chinese name, was born in Hong Kong and emigrated to Canada with his parents at the age of 12.
Fu, described as 'full of Eastern Promise', is a feted jetsetter and a keen fan of Manchester United.
The 20 players have been divided into four groups of five players each, with the group winners going through to the semi finals.
Further to the mentioned players making up Groups 2 and 4, the others featuring in the Malta Cup and their respective groups are John Higgins, Joe Perry, Ali Carter, Ryan Day and Alex Borg in Group 1 with Shaun Murphy, Stephen Hendry, Stephen Maguire, Mark Selby and Tony Drago to contest in Group 3.
Meanwhile, online ticket booking is still available through the tournament's official website, www.maltacup.org. Block tickets will go on sale as from next Monday for €95 each from Cafe Veneziana, Valletta, Kids' Korner, Hamrun, and 9 Ball Cafe Snooker Hall, Qawra.
The Malta Cup is organised by Snooker Promotions and sanctioned by World Snooker with the main sponsors being the Malta Tourism Authority, Air Malta, the Hilton Malta and Allevents Malta, which forms part of the UK-based Fraser Eagle Group.
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