John Higgins has described Ronnie O'Sullivan's comments telling young children not to take up snooker as a "disgrace".

Six-time world champion O'Sullivan said that he would not recommend children pursue a career in snooker and suggested they play golf, football or tennis instead.

Higgins, a four-time world champion, told Eurosport at the Scottish Open: "I thought it was a disgrace what he was saying about the young kids should not play snooker.

"I thought that was dreadful for someone as good as that to sit there and say that."

Reflecting on his own snooker career, Higgins said: "I would only think of myself if my dad had heard Steve Davis or Jimmy White say that - don't get your kids into it and I was wanting to play snooker.

"And my dad saying, 'Steve Davis said you shouldn't be playing snooker. So you're not getting the money to go down and practice'. It was terrible Ronnie saying that, he should know better."

O'Sullivan also spoke of the difficulties that lower-ranked players face with lack of prize money, adding that expenses should be covered for first-round losers.

Higgins said: "He is right what he's saying about the first-round prize money. I agree with that if you're a professional.

"I don't think the top players would miss it off the winning cheque. Judd beat me in the Champion of Champions and won £150,000. I won £60,000.

"If you'd say maybe take £20,000 off Judd he wouldn't miss that and that could funnel down into the youngsters."