Shaun Murphy said “amateurs should not be allowed in professional tournaments” following his shock 6-5 defeat by China’s Si Jiahui in the first round of snooker’s UK Championship. 

Murphy, runner-up in this year’s World Championship, fought back from 5-1 down only for 19-year-old amateur Si to win the deciding frame.

Murphy, who won the UK – snooker’s second-most important title in 2008 – was decidedly unimpressed, with the 39-year-old telling BBC Radio Five: “I am going to sound like a grumpy old man but that young man shouldn’t be in the tournament.”

The World Snooker Tour, however, responded by saying in a statement that while they respected Murphy’s opinions, they “strongly disagree” with his comments adding Si, although an amateur, deserved a place based on his results.

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