The Confederation of African Football has condemned Napoli President, Aurelio De Laurentiis, following his comments that the Italian Serie A club would not sign African players unless they agreed to waive playing at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Laurentiis said Napoli would avoid signing any more African players unless they agreed not to play in the AFCON.
“Enough of African players or they should give up playing in the African Cup of Nations. I won’t be buying them anymore for this reason,” De Laurentiis told a Wall Street Italia show.
In reply, Africa’s football-ruling body stated, “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.
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“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.
“We do not doubt that Napoli and UEFA are as committed as CAF is to these global humanitarian objectives.
“Are we to assume 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 AFCON is the biggest competition in Africa and is held every two years. Its last edition in Cameroon was shown in more than 160 countries and attracted more than 600 million viewers.