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Neil Robertson defends Hossein Vafaei: ‘He has it the toughest on tour’

Neil Robertson has come to the protection of Hossein Vafaei after controversial feedback made by the Iranian this week.

The latter’s rant in direction of the amenities on the Crucible Theatre has generated loads of headlines in the course of the first few days of the 2024 World Snooker Championship.

Vafaei vented his frustrations on the host venue within the speedy aftermath of his 10-5 defeat to Judd Trump on Sunday in Sheffield.

“All the things is so unhealthy,” Hossein Vafaei mentioned. “Should you ask me if I need to come again right here, I might let you know no manner.”

“Overlook the historical past. You need to go someplace very nice as a participant. You stroll around the Crucible and it smells actually unhealthy.

“You go to different international locations, and every part is shiny. However right here it’s fully totally different. The apply room – do you see something particular?

“I really feel like I’m practising in a storage.”

A number of esteemed gamers from previous and current have criticised Vafaei within the final couple of days, together with Jimmy White, Alan McManus, and Shaun Murphy.

However Australia’s Robertson, who’s extensively thought to be the most effective abroad participant ever in what has historically been a UK-centric sport, got here to the world quantity 19’s protection.

“A few of the feedback in direction of what Hossein Vafaei mentioned concerning the Crucible, that are all true (perhaps not the scent half) is absolutely disappointing,” Neil Robertson wrote on X.

“We’ve seen far worse feedback from British based mostly gamers about the identical venue and others that have been laughed off or swept underneath the carpet by those that put their boot into him.”

“This can be a man by the best way who I’ve seen play matches with no sleep for 30 hours as a result of he’s needed to journey by way of a number of totally different international locations simply to get a visa in time.

“He has it the toughest on tour by a mile.”

The entire state of affairs has gained traction on the again of a wider debate on whether or not or not the Crucible Theatre is an appropriate venue for the World Snooker Championship within the trendy sporting atmosphere.

The distinguished competitors is contracted to remain on the venue till 2027, however past that its future is unsure.

Transferring the event to China has lengthy been touted as a risk, whereas Riyadh Season’s rising involvement inside the sport has elevated the probability that the World Championship may finally transfer to Saudi Arabia.

Robertson, who received the world title in 2010 however has usually struggled to duplicate his greatest kind on the Crucible, has beforehand expressed his frustrations with the world.

“I believe now we have to watch out of custom,” the previous world primary, who misplaced on Judgement Day this 12 months, mentioned in 2022.

“There are loads of sports activities which have suffered due to that and been too cussed to maneuver on.”

“The one desk set-up is absolutely particular. However there’s positively room for enchancment within the two-table set-up.”

2024 World Snooker Championship Draw

Click on right here for dwell scores and session instances.

Spherical 1 (bo19)

Luca Brecel (1) 9-10 David Gilbert
Robert Milkins (16) vs 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) vs Dominic Dale
John Higgins (13) vs Jamie Jones
Mark Allen (4) vs 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) vs Si Jiahui

Ding Junhui (7) vs Jack Lisowski
Gary Wilson (10) 5-10 Stuart Bingham
Barry Hawkins (15) vs Ryan Day
Ronnie O’Sullivan (2) vs Jackson Web page

Spherical 2 (bo25)

David Gilbert vs Milkins/Pang
Stephen Maguire vs Shaun Murphy

Joe O’Connor vs Ok. Wilson/Dale
Higgins/Jamie Jones vs Allen/R. Williams

Judd Trump vs Tom Ford
Jak Jones vs M. Williams/Si

Ding/Lisowski vs Stuart Bingham
Hawkins/Day vs O’Sullivan/Web page

Quarter-Finals (bo25)

TBC vs Maguire/Murphy

Trump/Ford vs TBC

Semi-Finals (bo33)


Ultimate (bo35)


Featured picture credit score: WST

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