The Confederation of African Soccer (CAF) has referred to as on UEFA to take disciplinary motion in opposition to Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis over his controversial feedback relating to African gamers.
De Laurentiis mentioned final week he wouldn’t signal any extra African gamers except they agreed “to signal a waiver” to not participate within the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
– ESPN+ viewers’ information: LaLiga, Bundesliga, MLS, FA Cup, extra
– Do not have ESPN? Get immediate entry
Napoli didn’t have Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly, now at Chelsea, and Cameroon midfielder Andre Zambo Anguissa accessible for a number of video games earlier this yr as a result of they had been enjoying at AFCON.
“CAF is appalled by the irresponsible and unacceptable remarks made by Napoli President, Mr Aurelio De Laurentiis on African gamers and the Africa Cup of Nations,” CAF mentioned in a press release.
“By publicly declaring that gamers who signal for Napoli should signal a waiver denouncing participation within the Africa Cup of Nations as a situation of employment, De Laurentiis’ feedback [are] prone to fall beneath Article 14 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulation. CAF subsequently urges UEFA to provoke disciplinary investigation in opposition to him.”
CAF consider De Laurentiis’ remarks are discriminatory and questioned whether or not the Napoli chief would take the identical motion with gamers from different continents.
“Are we to imagine that the chairman of Napoli goes to incorporate related restrictive situations to gamers from South America, Asia and different confederations prohibiting them from enjoying of their continental competitions that are vital for the event and progress of soccer globally?,” the assertion continued.
CAF pressured the significance of AFCON and the way it has grown as a event over time.
“CAF is dedicated to the position that soccer performs in Africa, Europe, North and South America, Asia and globally of bringing collectively and uniting individuals of various cultures, language teams, races, ethnic teams and non secular backgrounds,” it mentioned.
“The African Cup of Nations is the flagship competitors of the African continent and one of many main international soccer competitions. Its final version in Cameroon was proven in additional than 160 international locations and attracted greater than 600 million viewers.”
The month-long AFCON is held each two years. The coronavirus pandemic pressured the 2021 event to be performed earlier this yr, with Koulibaly’s Senegal profitable the title.
Initially scheduled for June 2023, the subsequent version of AFCON has been moved to early 2024 to keep away from the wet season within the Ivory Coast.