A PROFESSIONAL snooker player has been fined £2,000 and ordered to pay a further £1,000 in costs after describing a fan as a "m**g" in a series of Instagram messages.

Matt Selt, 37, became involved in an argument over Instagram with the Ellesmere Port fan in April this year.

Selt, who is ranked 21st in the world and caused a major upset in last year's UK Championship when he beat former World Champion Judd Trump, launched a number of insults after the fan replied to a story of his about Ronnie O’Sullivan with a direct message. Selt was unaware that the fan was autistic.

The fan replied via direct message to the story - captioned "what an ambassador" - and said: "When's your match Matt??", in reference to Selt's absence from the World Championship.

Selt replied: "Rather not play than be an absolute c*** of a human," before calling O'Sullivan the "biggest p**** on tour." The fan, who has asked to remain anonymous, then said: "Awww jealous much," to which Selt responded: "Yea very jealous."

Selt then fired off a string of abusive messages, including one which called the autistic supporter a "m**g", a highly offensive term to a person with autism.

They read: "F***ing doughnut. Another Ronnie king. M**g."

Wirral Globe:

Selt was forced to appear before the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association Disciplinary Committee (WPBSA) on June 9, where he admitted breaching the WPBSA Rules and his players' contract.

As well as his fine, the snooker star was warned regarding his future conduct and ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.

Speaking to the Globe, the autistic fan said: “I was joking around with him because I actually liked the guy at the time. I thought it was banter until it got really out of hand.

“I thought I can’t personally allow this.”

They explained that all they wanted an apology or gesture from Selt after the incident.

The fan added: “I think it’s just been kept quiet and swept under the carpet. It’s a really big issue.

“Being autistic myself, I’m all about fighting for the cause because not enough people do.”

In a statement, WPBSA said: "At the hearing Selt was deeply apologetic and regretted his actions."

The WPBSA Members Rules state:

1.1   Members shall, at all times (i.e. whether at a Tournament or not), behave in a proper and correct manner consistent with their status as professional sportsmen.

 1.3   A Member shall not make or cause to be made any statement or commit or cause to be committed any act which in the reasonable view of the WPBSA is likely to bring into disrepute the games of snooker and/or billiards.

The World Snooker Limited Players Contract state:

3.5.1     Behave in a professional and reputable manner befitting a professional sportsperson.

3.1.10   Treat all Snooker Parties, the public and any other people associated with WSL (World Snooker Limited) Events with respect and not communicate or behave in an abusive, insulting, disrespectful, racist, sexist, homophobic, intimidating, threatening or violent manner.

World Snooker Limited confirmed Selt prefers not to comment on this matter.