Hossein Vafaei goes on fiery Crucible rant: ‘It’s just really bad’

Hossein Vafaei is no fan of the Crucible (Picture: Getty Images)

Hossein Vafaei made his thoughts on the Crucible very clear, saying the iconic home of the World Championship smells bad and he would rather never play there again.

The Iranian was dumped out of the tournament on Sunday afternoon, losing 10-5 to Judd Trump in the opening round.

The game was a little tighter than the scoreline suggested, with the Prince of Persia losing a number of close frames and the former world champion’s safety game a significant part of his victory.

After the contest, the 29-year-old was asked for his take on the Crucible debate that is raging this year, with the current contract with the venue running until 2027 and talk of a move elsewhere growing louder.

Vafaei is happy to add his voice to those calls for a move, hitting out at the Crucible, where he says the practice rooms feel like a garage and there is more than just the smell of snooker history in the air.

‘History is very important but when nobody invests any money in this historical venue, let’s forget the history,’ Vafaei told a press conference. ‘You want to go somewhere really nice as a player, as a media team.. you walk around the Crucible and it smells really bad.

‘As a player I’m honest, it’s just really bad. Everything’s so bad. You go to other venues in other countries and you see how nice they treat you. Everything is shiny. But here it’s completely different.

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2023 - Day Eight

Vafaei memorably faced Ronnie O’Sullivan at the Crucible last year (Picture: Getty Images)

‘If you ask me do I want to come back here again, I tell you no way. The practice room, do you see anything special? I feel like I’m practicing in a garage. I’m coming from a different country to see that? It’s not good.’

Saudi Arabia has been touted as a new location for the World Championship, as has China, and Vafaei feels overseas venues provide what he is looking for from the biggest event in the sport.

‘Look at the China venues, how they organise the tournament, how fantastic they treat the players, a red carpet and an opening ceremony, the players are treated like stars,’ he said. ‘But here no-one looks after the players, before and after the match no one cares who you are. China, Saudi, I think it will be good for everyone.

‘I understand so many people working here, if the Crucible moves they will probably lose their jobs and this is sad, but if they don’t want to lose the Crucible make it shinier, make it cleaner, make it nicer for the people. Why do we have to find a reason to lose the Crucible?’

Cazoo World Snooker Championship 2023 - Day Four

The Crucible has held the World Snooker Championship since 1977 (Picture: Getty Images)

World Snooker Tour responded to Vafaei’s comments with a statement which read: ‘The Crucible is a historic venue and there are limitations given the size of the backstage areas.

‘We work with the Crucible to make it as welcoming as possible for players.’


MORE :
The Future of the Crucible: Is snooker set to leave the iconic home of the World Championships?


MORE : Luca Brecel admits he’s glad to lose Crucible crown in defeat to refocussed Dave Gilbert

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