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PDC darts chiefs decide to scrap walk-on girls as one star name backs petition to bring them back

 

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LONDON, ENGLAND: The oche girls walk off the stage, but they will not be used in the future.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND: The oche girls walk off the stage, but they will not be used in the future. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Getty Images

LONDON, ENGLAND: The oche girls walk off the stage, but they will not be used in the future. (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Walk-on girls will no longer be used by the Professional Darts Corporation, but former world champions Raymond van Barneveld belives the decision should be reversed.

Women have accompanied players onto the stage for some years - something which has been regularly criticised - and the PDC has decided to act, starting at this weekend's Masters in Milton Keynes.

"We regularly review all aspects of our events and this move has been made following feedback from our host broadcasters," a spokesperson told Press Association Sport.

Last year, world number one Michael van Gerwen predicted the move, saying in an interview with AD Sportwereld: "The PDC wants more people to see it as a sport. It does not interest me (walk-on girls). It is just a sport."

The move has triggered a petition to reinstate the girls. On Friday night it had over 3,000 signatures and was backed by former world champion Van Barneveld as he tweeted:

 

The PDC's move will likely increase pressure on other sports, such as boxing and F1, to review their use of ring and grid girls.

PA Media