Of the insult of it all, having to play a "required" opening...
truly is it fair to ask a player to play a "mandatory" opening ? A chess game is a place for people to play what they feel like playing in the circumstances.
Having tournament officials who primary aim is to "sell" the media coverage for profit when they themselves could not understand a king versus kNight/Bishop ending smacks of profiteering, this is especially true when only "bread crumb" winnings are available as a prize pool and not serious gold.
To require any chess professional to "play" the 'sicilian' or any other "popular" opening to 'enhance' the prestige of the tournament is just plain profiteering.
What percentage of the overall "income" does the professional player get? more than likely a few thousand in "appearance" or 'prize' money.
Let professionals play what they think is correct in the circumstances or better yet get trained monkeys in to try and draw in a profitable crowd.
Given the money professional human chess players get paid for playing it is probably more profitable to make mandatory openings a requirement to get spectators in to watch chess matches compared to the cost of teaching animal monkeys how to play chess.
Shame on you; for degenerating professional chess...