Snooker match-fixers must be given lifetime bans, slams Shaun Murphy after Yan Bingtao is suspended

SHAUN MURPHY wants “complete lifetime bans” for anyone ever found guilty of match-fixing in snooker.

The sport was rocked to its core on Monday when 2021 Masters champion Yan Bingtao was barred by the WPBSA from “attending or competing on the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect”.

Shaun Murphy wants lifetime bans for anyone found guilty of match-fixing in snookerRex

In total, seven Chinese stars have been suspended – but not charged – as integrity chiefs launch a corruption investigation following “allegations of manipulating the outcome of matches for betting purposes”.

Speaking generally, Murphy – a hugely influential voice in the sport – wants to see a hardlined stance adopted for anyone who is found to have willingly thrown matches.

In September 2013, disgraced Stephen Lee was banned for 12 years after being found guilty of seven charges of match-fixing.

Murphy, the 2005 world champion, said: “Players who are found guilty of match fixing, they should never compete on the professional Tour ever again.

“A complete life ban. From professional and amateur snooker.

“Their existence in the snooker world should be terminated. So strong is my feeling on it.

“In my opinion your involvement in the snooker family should be finished.

“I know the world has gone greyer over the years, we have gone from an old fashioned black and white view of the world to quite an opaque one. And for the better.

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“But cheating is one area where we should be a bit more black and white.”

According to governing body WPBSA, the seven players will remain suspended “until the conclusion of the investigation or any subsequent charges that may or may not be brought”.

Bingtao, 22, has the right to appeal the decision within a two-week window but his spot at the 2023 Masters is under threat.

Murphy, 40, says the trouble with match-fixing scandals is that it creates long-lasting reputational damage for a sport in question.

The Magician ranked 12th in the world, said: “For the people who matter the most, the fans, it’s just leaves that shadow of a doubt when they are watching what is arguably the hardest single player sport on the planet, such a skilful game.

“There’s that little doubt when a player misses a pot that they think they should get – things like this sows that seed of doubt among the public.

Snooker champion Yan Bingtao has been suspended but has the chance to appealPA

“Did they really miss that? Was that on purpose?

“It’s heart breaking for a player like me whose first love is snooker.

“Our reputation around the world, we trade off that gentlemanly image.”

Several of the players suspended have links to the Ding Junhui Snooker Academy in Sheffield where they train throughout the year.

But Junhui – a three-time UK Champion – has tried to distance himself from the probe.

The 35-year-old said the allegations “had nothing to do with my academy, nothing to do with me”.

Junhui – who has not been accused of any wrongdoing – added: “Everybody has different lives. All I can control is myself. So that is all I can do.”

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