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Jimmy White on ‘pathetic’ Hossein Vafaei Crucible rant

Jimmy White and Alan McManus have vehemently disagreed with Hossein Vafaei after the Iranian’s recent Crucible rant.

In the immediate aftermath of losing 10-5 to Judd Trump in the first round of this year’s World Snooker Championship, Vafaei slated the host venue in Sheffield.

The former Shoot Out champion, who is building a reputation for himself as a controversial character and a bad loser, lambasted the facilities at the sport’s flagship tournament.

“Everything is so bad,” Hossein Vafaei said. “If you ask me if I want to come back here, I would tell you no way.”

“Forget the history. You want to go somewhere really nice as a player. You walk round the Crucible and it smells really bad.

“You go to other countries, and everything is shiny. But here it’s completely different. The practice room – do you see anything special?

“I feel like I’m practicing in a garage.”

“If they don’t want to lose the Crucible invest some money, make it shinier, make it nicer, make it more luxury for the people.

“If they make it cleaner and nicer, people will enjoy it.”

Vafaei, who made more headlines at the World Grand Prix when he refused to shake the hand of Mark Williams following a defeat to the Welshman, has come in for some severe criticism from other players.

“Listen, if he wins the match, does he say that?” six-time Crucible runner-up Jimmy White said in the Eurosport studio.

“It’s just pathetic, I just don’t get it. He has not performed, he’s got beat. Who gives a…? Drop me out.”

“He played against Ronnie O’Sullivan [in the 2023 World Championship] and came out with all that nonsense there. He’s got beat here. It’s just stupid.

“These things, he will regret. You just want to say that was a stupid thing to say and do. You got beat, shake the geezer’s hand, and get ready for next year.”

Co-pundit Alan McManus also passionately defended the Crucible Theatre, which has staged the blue-riband championship since 1977.

“Two things,” Alan McManus, three-times a World Snooker Championship semi-finalist, said.

“It doesn’t smell bad and everything is not wrong about this place. That’s absolute nonsense.”

“I don’t know what he wants. Does he want a bunch of flowers and a prawn sandwich on the way in the door? I don’t know.

“You come here to play snooker. You don’t come here to smell roses and flowers and all that stuff.

“This is a place to come and conduct your business.

“If Diana Ross came in here to put on a show, or anyone else for that matter, it’s a place of work.

“It’s not a place to come in and be pampered. I don’t quite know what it is he wants.

“If you want to be a big star in this game, which he’s not yet incidentally, go out and win some tournaments. Then start talking like that.

“But even then, I wouldn’t be talking like that. There’s nothing wrong with the Crucible, there’s been nothing wrong with it since ’77.”

Shaun Murphy, meanwhile, said that Vafaei’s comments were like “sacrilege”.

“We’re coming up to the 50th anniversary of snooker being here,” the Magician said in response.

“If World Snooker Tour turned up tomorrow and did a site visit, they would probably not come here because it’s not big enough, but there’s nothing we can do about that.”

“But this is holy ground. It’s almost sacrilege for a professional snooker player to be so openly critical of our home.

“Hossein should educate himself on how our tour works in relationships with the WST and our broadcast partners, our venues, and how special this place is.”

2024 World Snooker Championship Draw

Round 1 (bo19)

Luca Brecel (1) 9-10 David Gilbert
Robert Milkins (16) 10-9 Pang Junxu
Ali Carter (9) 7-10 Stephen Maguire
Shaun Murphy (8) 10-5 Lyu Haotian

Mark Selby (5) 6-10 Joe O’Connor
Kyren Wilson (12) 10-1 Dominic Dale
John Higgins (13) 10-6 Jamie Jones
Mark Allen (4) 10-6 Robbie Williams

Judd Trump (3) 10-5 Hossein Vafaei
Tom Ford (14) 10-6 Ricky Walden
Zhang Anda (11) 4-10 Jak Jones
Mark Williams (6) 9-10 Si Jiahui

Ding Junhui (7) 9-10 Jack Lisowski
Gary Wilson (10) 5-10 Stuart Bingham
Barry Hawkins (15) 8-10 Ryan Day
Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) 10-1 Jackson Page

Round 2 (bo25)

David Gilbert 13-4 Robert Milkins (16)
Stephen Maguire 13-9 Shaun Murphy (8)

Joe O’Connor 6-13 Kyren Wilson (12)
John Higgins (13) 13-12 Mark Allen (4)

Judd Trump (3) 13-7 Tom Ford (14)
Jak Jones 13-9 Si Jiahui

Jack Lisowski 11-13 Stuart Bingham
Ryan Day 7-13 Ronnie O’Sullivan (2)

Quarter-Finals (bo25)

David Gilbert 13-8 Stephen Maguire
Kyren Wilson (12) 13-8 John Higgins (13)

Judd Trump (3) 9-13 Jak Jones
Stuart Bingham 13-10 Ronnie O’Sullivan (2)

Semi-Finals (bo33)

David Gilbert 11-17 Kyren Wilson (12)
Jak Jones 17-12 Stuart Bingham

Final (bo35)

Kyren Wilson (12) 18-14 Jak Jones

Click here for the latest live scores and session times.

Featured photo credit: WST

One Comment

  1. J.Saunders Lewismgljan

    Who the H… Is Hossein Vafaei when he’ s home? You are not famous enough to comment on fellow professionals..! From Swansea Snooker Fan.

    Swansea Snooker Fan.

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