Shaun Murphy goes on an extraordinary rant after shock loss to amateur Si Jiahui

Shaun Murphy goes on a rampage after a shocking loss of the British Championship to amateur Si Jiahui as the former world No. 3 says only professional players are allowed to participate in the tournament

  • Si Juahui claimed a memorable win over Shaun Murphy in York Barbican
  • The 19-year-old led 5-1 before the 2005 UK Championship winner reacted
  • However, the Chinese teen kept his spirits up to advance to the second round
  • Afterwards, the former No. 3 world champion shouted that Si ‘shouldn’t be in the building’
  • Defending champion Neil Robertson spoke in support of Murphy’s stance
  • However, amateur players are needed to fill the 128 spots in this year’s draw


Shaun Murphy has rejected the British Championship’s decision to allow amateur players to compete there after being knocked out by one in the first round.

The winner of the 2005 event took on Si Jiahui, who took advantage of a player withdrawing to secure his place at the York Barbican tournament.

The 19-year-old certainly grabbed his chance, and despite seeing his 5-1 lead evaporate as Murphy took four straight frames, the Chinese teenager kept his cool to secure a memorable win.

Shaun Murphy said after losing Si Jiahui the amateur ‘shouldn’t even be in the building’

Murphy trailed 5-1 before coming back to tie the match at 5-5 - only to lose the last frame

Murphy trailed 5-1 before coming back to tie the match at 5-5 – only to lose the last frame

Murphy was less than impressed and angrily told BBC Radio 5 live: ‘I feel extremely saddened by the fact that I have lost to someone who shouldn’t even be in the building.

“I don’t know why as a sport we allow amateurs to participate in professional tournaments. This is our livelihood. This is our life.

‘We are self-employed and not contracted athletes. We don’t play for a team.

‘The other runners and riders in the tournament, that’s also their livelihood. It’s wrong in my opinion to bump into someone who doesn’t play with the same pressures and worries as I do.

“He played as a man who has no worries in the world, because he has no worries in the world. It’s not fair, it’s not right. Amateurs are not allowed in professional tournaments, the end.

“This is our livelihood. That’s how I put food on the table. That’s how I earn money. Since turning professional at the age of 15, I have earned the right to call myself a professional snooker player. He didn’t. It shouldn’t be on the table.’

Responding to Murphy’s comments, the World Snooker Tour said: “We respect Shaun’s opinion, but in this case we strongly disagree with his comments.

“Many elite amateur players like Si Jiahui train and compete full-time in hopes of earning a guaranteed tour spot, which is why they compete under great pressure with no guarantees.

“Providing opportunities for the best amateur players is important to our growth as a sport and Shaun has benefited from that in his early years as a player.”

Si took his place in the draw after withdrawing from the event, claiming a shocking win

Si took his place in the draw after withdrawing from the event, claiming a shocking win

The statement also said that Si “deserves his place in our events based on his results” despite his amateur status.

Defending champion Neil Robertson, who faces amateur John Astley on Thursday, was one of the players who supported Murphy’s stance, saying: ‘I totally understand where Shaun is coming from.

“When you play against one of the Chinese guys, some are amateurs, but some are as good as anyone in the top 50 in the world.

“Amateurs are under a very different pressure where there is really no pressure because they are not competing for ranking points.

“They actually have a free hit with a pro, so I totally agree with what Shaun is saying there, because it’s very dangerous.”

Amateur players are needed in the current UK Championship draw as there are 128 places to win but only 122 professionals on the World Snooker Tour during the current 2021-22 season.

Neil Robertson - who won the UK Championship last year - backs Murphy's stance

Neil Robertson – who won the UK Championship last year – backs Murphy’s stance

Many fans took to social media to accuse Murphy of hypocrisy over his outburst when a 2019 article was unearthed showing the former number 3 in the world trying to qualify for The Open golf.

In the article, Murphy said of his amateur status leading up to the event: “Golf is not my livelihood.

“Compared to the other players I play against, I don’t really care if I win or lose.

“I won’t be under the pressure they are under. Most of them try to win. I’m just trying to make it a fun day out. I could knock it in anything from 68 to 108!’

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