Shaun Murphy regrets timing of rant after shock UK Championship loss and apologises to amateur Si Jiahui for ‘taking shine off his great win’
- Amateur Si Juahui claimed a memorable victory over Shaun Murphy on Tuesday
- Former World No 3 Murphy later claimed that Si ‘shouldn’t be in the building’
- Those comments were widely condemned from many within snooker
Shaun Murphy has admitted he regrets the timing of his outburst about amateur players and apologised to opponent Si Jiahui.
Former world champion Murphy bitterly complained that amateurs shouldn’t be allowed to compete in professional tournaments after losing 6-5 to 19-year-old Si in the first round of the UK Championship on Tuesday. Murphy said he had lost to a player ‘who shouldn’t even be in the building’.
Those comments were widely condemned from many within snooker and in the wider sporting world.
On Saturday, Murphy told the BBC: ‘I think if I could go back in time I perhaps wouldn’t have said what I said, having just lost to Si Jiahui. I think it took the shine off his victory and I regret that, and I’d like to apologise to him for that.
Shaun Murphy said amateurs shouldn’t be allowed to compete at the UK Championship
‘It was a great win, he played really well. He played better than I did and he deserved his victory.
‘Listen, I stand by my point of view. I don’t think amateur players should be allowed to able to play in professional events.
‘Ultimately the powers that be, Steve Dawson (chairman) and his team at World Snooker Tour, they’ve been very clear on the commercial reasons why we allow amateurs and top ups into the game.’
Ronnie O’Sullivan eased into round three, winning five frames in a row to beat Robbie Williams 6-2.
Murphy was unhappy after losing 6-5 to amateur Si Jiahui in the first round on Tuesday