05292017

World Championship 2017: Ronnie O’Sullivan claims ‘inaccurate’ – Shaun Murphy

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Watch O’Sullivan’s emotional press conference

Five-time world champion Ronnie O’Sullivan is “completely wrong” to accuse snooker bosses of bullying, says world number five Shaun Murphy.

O’Sullivan made the claims against World Snooker on Sunday, accusing the body of using “threatening language”.

Murphy, who will face O’Sullivan in the World Championship second round on Thursday, said he cannot live in a “world without consequences”.

“To claim he has been bullied is, in my opinion, quite inaccurate,” he said.

“The players’ contract is clear for all to see. He can say whatever he wants. No-one has muffled him. But you can’t live in a world where there are no consequences; no-one lives in that world.”

Earlier on Monday, World Snooker chairman Barry Hearn said O’Sullivan’s allegations were “unfounded”.

O’Sullivan, 41, publicly criticised a referee and swore at a photographer after his Masters win in January, which led to World Snooker referring O’Sullivan’s comments to snooker’s governing body, the WPBSA.

The WPBSA took no action but O’Sullivan was sent a letter by the organisation about his behaviour and warned he could face further sanctions, including a fine.

“Ronnie can say whatever he wants about whatever he wants, but he can’t get away with everything he says and he isn’t right about everything he says either,” Murphy said.

“In my own personal opinion, I think he is completely wrong.”

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World Snooker Championship 2017: Shaun Murphy edges past Yan Bingtao

Murphy, the 2005 Crucible champion, survived a fine comeback from 17-year-old Chinese qualifier Yan Bingtao to win 10-8 and set up a mouth-watering match with O’Sullivan

Murphy said he was “sure” the off-table controversy would be a distraction for his opponent.

“It’s very hard to talk about lawyers and threatening the chairman and being embroiled in all of that – and focus on the snooker,” he added.

“I certainly couldn’t do it. I don’t know how he does it, but he seems to like it; he always seems to do it. He seems to court it, like he enjoys it – so let him carry on with it with it.”

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