Iran’s Soheil Vahedi insists that Shaun Murphy’s call to ban amateurs from major tournaments makes him “feel like vomiting”.
Former world champion Murphy lit the blue touchpaper at this week’s UK Championship after bombing out in the first round to teenage amateur Si Jiahui.
After that world No6 Murphy, 39, launched into an angry rant saying those who did not have pro status should not be allowed to compete in the big events.
Although some top players agree with Murphy, he has been slammed by both governing body World Snooker Tour, president Barry Hearn and the sporting public.
But the amateur players have now hit back. Vahedi fell off the tour after four years in the summer and was at this week’s UK Championship as a top-up amateur player.
The 32-year-old lost 6-2 to former Betfred World Championship finalist Kyren Wilson in the first round.
But the former world No80, who has had to battle throughout his career obtaining visas to play in all the events, was sickened by the call to ban those no longer on tour from appearing in pro events.
He said: “It is lucky Shaun drew an amateur player otherwise he would have lost 6-0. It is an absolute disgrace.
“Some of the top players are earning most of the money in the game, and yet can't see that people have spent at least five years of their valuable life winning a few quid just to make ends meet.
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“It disgusts me so much that I feel like vomiting. In 22 years in the game I have never been so annoyed and upset.”
Meanwhile Scottish amateur Ross Muir has also criticised Murphy.
After going down 6-2 to Mark Selby Edinburgh’s Muir, who fell off the tour two years ago and is battling to get back on, says he deserves a top-up place from his Q School results.
Muir said: “To be honest I heard Shaun Murphy’s comments on the radio as I was driving to the match. And it is a bit bizarre for someone like Shaun to be saying something like that.
“At the end of the day you have to fill 128 places and no one is being just given a spot.
“You have had to earn it with your results and performances in your own way at Q School.
“So I certainly don’t agree that amateurs shouldn’t be allowed in these tournaments. Most sports have amateurs against professionals at some sort of level.
“But the amateurs in snooker get no special treatment, we are unseeded and I don’t understand why he has had a dig at amateur players. Maybe it was just an initial reaction after his match.
“I saw the blue he missed in the decider, he must have been very disappointed to lose the match the way he did.
“But I don’t think his comments have any sort of grounds to be considered. You get the mix in golf, even team sports like football sometimes. It’s not something I agree with.
“If I wasn’t able to take advantage of a top-up place when they were short of the 128 I might struggle to keep going.
“There aren’t really enough events to make a living without playing in main tour events as well. But as a top-up you can make a living.”