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  • Shaun Murphy Slams Hossein Vafaei And Tells Him To ‘Educate Himself’ After Smelly Crucible Jibe

Shaun Murphy slams Hossein Vafaei and tells him to ‘educate himself’ after smelly Crucible jibe

Shaun Murphy has come out in defence of the Crucible Theatre after Hossein Vafaei called for the World Snooker Championship to be relocated to China or Saudi Arabia.

Vafaei, who suffered a first-round defeat to Judd Trump over the weekend, said the Sheffield-based venue ‘smells really bad’ and urged the organisers to reconsider the world championship venue.

The Crucible Theatre has played host to the tournament since 1977 and will continue to do so until at least 2027 when the contract with the venue ends.

While it may not be the biggest venue on the tour, the Crucible is considered to be the spiritual home not only for the event but for the sport as a whole.

“We’re coming up on the 50th anniversary of snooker being here,” said Murphy after his 10-5 win over Lyu Haotian on Monday.

“If World Snooker turned up tomorrow to do a site visit, they probably wouldn’t come here because it’s not big enough. There’s nothing we can do about that.

“But this is holy ground and it’s almost sacrilege for a professional snooker player to be so openly critical about our home. Hossein should educate himself on how our tour work and the relationships with WST and our broadcast partners, our venues and how special these places are.

“Does he think he’s helping the sport grow by being so openly critical of one of our business partners? He hasn’t helped the sport at all and I was always taught by my mum, if you haven’t got anything nice to say, don’t say anything.”

“Maybe not having grown up in the UK he’s not as emotionally connected to this tournament as many of the UK players are. I think that’s just a geographical thing. Perhaps it’s not as special to Hossein as the rest of us.

“He said he doesn’t want to come back…don’t come back. He doesn’t have to, he’s not forced to come here. Don’t come.”

Murphy is adamant that the event should remain at the 980-capacity venue despite the logistical challenges.

He added: “I don’t want the snooker to leave here, I want specifically the World Championship – I don’t think they should have any other event here.

“The World Championship, in my opinion, should stay in this building, but it’s economics isn’t it? It’s our biggest event in our smallest building.

“Conservatively, WST could probably sell the place out five times over, 10 times for the final. I don’t know.

“It can’t carry on as it is. I think when our contract ends…I’m sure that’s already being talked about. But I don’t think anyone wants to leave apart from Hossein and Ronnie O’Sullivan. I think everyone else wants it to stay. But it can’t stay as it is and something will have to give.”

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