After the interview in which the president of SSC Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentiis, claimed that he no longer wanted to recruit African footballers because of their participation in the African Cup of Nations (AFCON), the Confederation of African Football (CAF) reacted.
The African football governing body has denounced “irresponsible and unacceptable” remarks and called on UEFA to crack down.
Aurelio De Laurentiis’ comments, made on August 2 in an interview with Wall Street Italia, continue to shock the world of football, especially in Africa.
Indeed the president of the Italian club of Naples had declared that they did not want to recruit any more African players, except “if they (me) sign a waiver to participate in the African Cup”. “We are the idiots who pay the salaries to send them to play for others,” he added.
CAF also responded to Aurelio de Laurentiis in a press release published on Sunday.
“The irresponsible and unacceptable remarks made by the President of Napoli FC”, regarding an AFCON waiver clause as a condition of employment, “are liable to fall under Article 14 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations” , dropped the CAF, which specifies that this article is about “Racism and other discriminatory behavior”.
Paragraph 1 states that “Any person (…) who violates the dignity of a person or a group of persons for any reason whatsoever, including skin color, race, religion, his ethnic origin, gender or sexual orientation shall be subject to a suspension of at least ten matches or for a fixed period, or any other appropriate sanction”.
Under this article, the body “therefore urges UEFA to open a disciplinary investigation” against Aurelio de Laurentiis.
“Should we assume that the President of Napoli is going to include similar restrictive conditions for players from South America, Asia and other confederations, prohibiting them from participating in their continental competitions which are important for the development and growth of football around the world? asks CAF.
The three African players of Napoli who came back home
Last January-February, during the AFCON which took place in Cameroon, Napoli was deprived of Adam Ounas (eliminated in the first round with Algeria), André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (third with Cameroon) and Kalidou Koulibaly (winner with Senegal).
The latter, transferred to Chelsea in mid-July, disavowed his former president at a press conference on August 4: “For me, the most important thing is to respect everyone. (…) We have to respect the national teams. We can’t talk about a national team like that, I think. You have to have the same respect for the other national teams. As the captain of Senegal, I think it’s not a good way to talk about an African national team, but I respect what he thinks. If he thinks the team can play without African players, that’s his choice. But I think not everyone in the club has the same idea as him. I know everyone there, I know the fans and they don’t think like that. »