The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has condemned the unpleasant remarks made by Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis on African players.
De Laurentiis recently stated that he would not sign African players unless they provided written assurances they would not participate in the Africa Cup of Nations.
As this is played in January and February, players can be ruled out for up to six weeks if they participate in the tournament, without the usual World Cup provisions to stop domestic leagues.
“CAF is stunned 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 Regulations. CAF, therefore, urges UEFA to initiate a disciplinary investigation against him.
“CAF is committed to the role that football plays in Africa, Europe, North and South America, Asia, and globally of bringing together and uniting people of different cultures, language groups, races, ethnic groups, and religious backgrounds.
“We do not doubt that Napoli and UEFA are as committed as CAF is to these global humanitarian objectives.
“Are we to conclude that the Chairman of Napoli is going to include similar restrictive conditions to players from South America, Asia, and other Confederations prohibiting them from playing in their Continental competitions which are important for the development and growth of football globally?
“The African Cup of Nations is the flagship competition of the African continent and one of the leading global football competitions. Its last edition in Cameroon was shown in more than 160 countries and attracted more than 600 million viewers.”