Fly distracts Shaun Murphy during match against Ali Carter
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Snooker star Shaun Murphy is furious with the rules that allow amateur players to compete in professional tournaments. The 39-year-old was dumped out of the UK Championship in the first round by China’s Si Jiahui.
Murphy lost to the amateur player 6-5 in a thrilling tussle at the York Barbican, a frustrating result after reaching the World Championship final earlier this year.
Mark Selby defeated the 2005 World Champion at The Crucible to secure his fourth crown.
Murphy is furious with the decision to allow amateurs to play at tournaments and ranted that Si should never have been in the tournament to beat him.
“I feel extremely hard done by that I have lost to someone who shouldn’t even be in the building,” the 39-year-old told BBC Radio 5 Live.
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“I don’t know why we as a sport allow amateurs to compete in professional tournaments.
“This is our livelihood. This is our living.
“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.
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“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.
“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 our livelihood. 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.”
Last year, snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan spoke about the participation of amateur players at professional tournaments, albeit citing different reasons to Murphy.
The six-time world champion insisted the quality of such players was nowhere near good enough: “If you look at the younger players coming through, they are not that good really.
“Most of them would do well as half-decent amateurs, not even amateurs. They are so bad.”
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