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African Nations Championship

CAF demands investigation into Napoli chief De Laurentiis after 'irresponsible' Afcon remarks

16:36 BST 08/08/2022
Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis
African football's governing body says the executive disrespected the continent with his recent comments

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) says it is "appalled" by recent comments made by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis. In a statement, the governing body called on UEFA to take action against the executive for his "irresponsible" remarks.

De Laurentiis sparked outrage when he claimed last week that he would not sign any more African players unless they agreed to miss the Africa Cup of Nations.

Napoli were without Kalidou Koulibaly - now at Chelsea - and Andre Zambo Anguissa for a handful of matches last season as the pair competed at Afcon for Senegal and Cameroon, respectively.

What did Aurelio De Laurentiis say about African players?

The Serie A club's owner told Wall Street Italia: "I told them, lads, don't talk to me about Africans anymore!

"I love them, but either they sign something confirming they'll back out of playing the Africa Cup of Nations, or otherwise between that tournament, the World Cup qualifiers in South America, these players are never available!

"We are the idiots who pay salaries only to send them all over the world playing for others."

What did CAF say in response to De Laurentiis?

CAF's statement in response to the Napoli president's comments read: "CAF is appalled by the irresponsible and unacceptable remarks made by Napoli President, Mr Aurelio De Laurentiis on African players and the Africa Cup of Nations.

"By publicly declaring that players who sign for Napoli must sign a waiver denouncing participation in the Africa Cup of Nations as a condition of employment, De Laurentiis' comments [are] likely to fall under Article 14 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulation. CAF therefore urges UEFA to initiate disciplinary investigation against him."

The statement continued on to question whether De Laurentiis would take the same view of players from other continents such as South America or Asia.

CAF will now await a response from UEFA who it believes should find the Napoli chief in violation of its disciplinary rules.