Sean Murphy has called for the permanent ban of snooker players found guilty of match-fixing.
Former world champion Murphy is upset and devastated by the suspension of seven Chinese players suspected of manipulating matches for betting purposes.
Six of the seven, including former Masters champion Yang Bingtao, still have the right to appeal the temporary ban as the official WPBSA corruption investigation progresses.
World No. 12 Murphy, 40, must follow due process to allow Yang, Liang Wenbo, Li Han, Lu Ning, Bai Langning, Zhang Bingyu and Zhao Juanbo to speak. I know very well that I won’t.
But the winner of nine ranking titles and the Masters Crown, considered one of the sport’s premier ambassadors, is upset by the severe reputational damage done to the game.
And if the investigation is closed and the indictment or disciplinary procedure amended is proven, Murphy will affirm that the guilty player will never come to the table again.
“Players convicted of match-fixing must never play on the Pro Tour again. Complete lifetime ban – from professional and amateur snooker.
“Their presence in the snooker world should end.
“As you know, I knew too much about what was going on with certain players who were undergoing disciplinary action. .
“For me, it goes completely black and white. I know the world has gotten grayer over the years. This worldview is often moving in the right direction.
“But I think cheating is one area where we need to be a little more black and white.
“If I am duly convicted, given an opportunity to defend myself, and found guilty of match-fixing, my involvement in the Snooker family should end, in my opinion.
“I’m someone who uses all the fibers of snooker to try and make this game better.
Former Masters champion Yang Bingtao is one of seven players suspended
“I’ve been on the board, I’ve been on the Players Commission. Everything I’ve tried to do in my professional career compared to 1998 when I turned pro, when I stepped away from snooker. It’s about leaving snooker in better condition.
“You know what happened last week with the announcement of the players. We understand due process and they are innocent until proven guilty. It just breaks my heart.
“The people that matter most, the fans, are arguably the most difficult single-player sport on the planet, leaving only a shadow of doubt when watching such a skilful game.
“When a player misses a pot they thought they should have won, there is little doubt. Things like this sow the seeds of doubt in the public.
“Did they really miss it?
“It’s a reputation all over the world. We trade off that gentlemanly image. If these players are found guilty, in my opinion being part of the snooker community is no longer a business.” ”
To date, the longest proven match-fixing bans in snooker have been Steven Lee’s 12-year ban in 2012 and Udell’s 10-year, 9-month ban in 2018.
Chinese superstar Ding Junhui has tried to distance himself and the British academy from a suspended snooker player with ties to Sheffield base.
Five of the seven professional Chinese players who have been banned from playing due to an ongoing match-fixing investigation regularly used Ding’s facility for practice.
They are Lu Ning, Li Hang, and youths Bai Langning, Chang Bingyu, and Zhao Jianbo.There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Ding or the Academy itself.
Ding, 35, is a three-time UK Championship winner and former Masters champion. It’s personal. It has nothing to do with the Academy.
“I have my own life. Everything.
“We won’t have any information until after the tournament.
Liang Wenbo, another of the seven suspended, claims he has never been involved in the match-fixing and intends to contest any charges that may have arisen from the investigation.
A representative for former Masters champion Yang Bingtao, 22, who is based at rival Victoria’s Academy in Sheffield, declined to comment.