Raymond van Barneveld last played a Dutch Euro Tour tournament in 2013, and it seems that ‘Barney’ will be absent for a fifth consecutive year in 2018.
Maastricht and Zwolle are set to be two stops on the European circuit next year. Since Van Barneveld is not among the top 16 in the Pro Tour rankings, the 50-year old from The Hague would be obliged to play qualifying tournaments to take part in these events. Van Barneveld, however, told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad that he is uninterested in doing so.
“If I play a tournament in Maastricht, I have to qualify. Sorry, but I put the sport on the map in the Netherlands “, Van Barneveld declared. “I do not need preferential treatment, but I’m not really going to enter qualifiers.”
Van Barneveld is not the first player to criticize the Euro Tour system. Before the Dutch Darts Masters 2017, Vincent van der Voort expressed his reservations about the many Euro Tour tournaments in Germany.
“I think the whole system of the Euro Tour has to be changed. How it is organized now is a joke. The Euro Tour tournaments must be spread over several countries. So not only in Germany and the Netherlands, I think they should try to make the sport bigger in other countries,” Van der Voort said.
Next year the PDC European Tour 2018 will visit five countries. Just like this year, the Netherlands (twice), Germany (eight times), Gibraltar (once) and Austria (once) are visited. Denmark was added to the calendar for the first time, with Copenhagen set to host the Danish Darts Open in June.

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Author: Ed McCosh