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World of Sport

24th Nov 2021

Shaun Murphy hits out after defeat to amatuer snooker player at UK Championship

Robert Redmond

“It is not fair, it is not right.”

Shaun Murphy has criticised the decision to allow Si Jiahu, an amateur snooker player, to compete in the UK Championship. Murphy suffered a shock loss to the 19-year-old in the first round of the tournament on Tuesday.

Following his defeat, the 2005 world champion questioned why his opponent was allowed to enter the competition. Si was previously a professional but fell off the main tour at the end of last season.

The Chinese player was allowed to enter the UK Championship as an amateur. But Murphy believes he shouldn’t “even be in the building.”

Shaun Murphy: Snooker shouldn’t allow amateur players to enter professional tournaments.

“I am going to sound like a grumpy old man but that young man shouldn’t be in the tournament,” Murphy told BBC Radio 5 Live after his 6-5 defeat in York. The 39-year-old had trailed 5-1 at one point in the match.

“It is not fair, it is not right… I feel extremely hard done by that I have lost to someone who shouldn’t even be in the building. I don’t know why we as a sport allow amateurs to compete in professional tournaments.”

“This is our livelihood. This is our living,” Murphy continued.

“We are self-employed individuals and not contracted sportsmen. We don’t play for a team. The other 127 runners and riders in the tournament, it is their livelihood too.

“It is wrong, in my opinion, to walk into somebody who is not playing with the same pressures and concerns I am.”

shaun murphy amateur players

Murphy: My loss to Si Jiahu was “not fair.”

The English snooker player also appeared to suggest that his opponent had an advantage as he is not a professional and therefore didn’t have the same pressure on him to win.

“He played like a man who does not have a care in the world because he does not have a care in the world. It is not fair, it is not right,” he said.

“I am not picking on him as a young man, he deserved his victory. Amateurs should not be allowed in professional tournaments. The end.

“This is how I put food on the table. This is how I earn money. Since turning professional at 15, I have earned the right to call myself a professional snooker player. He hasn’t done that. He shouldn’t be on the table.”

Murphy, who turned professional in 1998, is currently ranked sixth in the world and has earned just over £4.7m in prize money from the sport in his career so far. He won the 2005 World Championship as a qualifier and has won nine ranking titles.

Si Jiahu was a professional from 2019 until the end of the 2021 season.