Nepoli will stop signing Africans unless they Stop participating in AFCON- says, Napoli’s de Laurentiis
Nepoli will stop signing Africans, Napoli, Aurelio de Laurentiis, the controversial and notoriously outspoken president of Italian top-flight club, has hit out at the timing of the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) and said, the club will stop signing any more African players unless they agree not to play in the tournament.
This came on the heels that
The timing of AFCON clashes and has long adversely affected by European clubs who are forced to release players in the middle of the season.
Kalidou Koulibaly, Senegal – now at Premier
League side Chelsea – and Cameroon midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa missed six Napoli games while on international duty at this year’s tournament, which took place in January and February.
De Laurentiis (pictured) told a Wall Street Italia show
“Enough of African players, or they should give up playing in the African Cup of Nations. I won’t be buying them any more otherwise,”.
Koulibaly and Zambo Anguissa missed Napoli’s 1-1 draw with Juventus in early January and the Coppa Italia defeat by Fiorentina, but the club then managed four league wins in their absence.
The timing of the Nations Cup has long adversely affected by European clubs who are forced to release players in the middle of the season. The next edition is be held in January and February 2024 in Ivory Coast, having been moved from its initial dates of June-July because of weather concerns.
However, Current FIFA rules stipulate that players must be released but de Laurentiis charged: “We pay the salaries to send them around to play elsewhere in the middle of the league championship.”
Koulibaly who spent eight years at Napoli and responded to De Laurentiis’ comments by saying it is important to “respect everybody”.
“You cannot speak about African national teams like this,” the 31-year-old defender told the BBC. “You have to have respect, and as captain of Senegal it is not a good way to speak, Koulibaly said.
“If he thinks that the team can play without African players, it’s up to him. But I think not everybody has the same idea as him.” he added.