Shaun Murphy has said he regrets the timing of his rant about the inclusion of amateur players in snooker’s biggest tournaments but "stands by" his point of view.
Murphy suffered a shock first round defeat to Si Jiahui at the UK Championships in York and afterwards ‘The Magician’ complained that his opponent "shouldn't even be in the building".
The comments received a mixed reaction from fellow players with some supporting Murphy while others insisting his stance was wrong.
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Murphy’s outburst has been the main talking point of the first week of the tournament but he now admits he may have mistimed his complaints and apologised to his opponent.
“I think if I could go back in time I perhaps wouldn’t have said what I said, having just lost to Si Jiahui,” he told the BBC.
“I think it took the shine off his victory and I regret that, and I’d like to apologise to him for that.
It was a great win, he played really well. He played better than I did and he deserved his victory.
However, the former world champion maintains his opinion that Si and other amateurs should not be allowed to compete at the highest level and pointed the finger at snooker’s organisers for bowing to commercial pressures.
“Listen, I stand by my point of view. I don’t think amateur players should be allowed to able to play in professional events,” he added.
“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.”
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