CAF Appeals To UEFA YO Investigate Napoli President’s On African Players, AFCON Comments

CAF Appeals To UEFA YO Investigate Napoli President’s On African Players, AFCON Comments

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By Amaechi Agbo

Africa’s football authority, the Confederation of Africa Football, CAF has condemned remarks made by president of Italian Serie A side, Napoli Sporting Club, Mr Aurelio De Laurentiis on African players and the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON even as the continent’s body has appealed to Union of European Football Association, UEFA to discipline Mr Laurentiis.

President Aurelio de Laurentiis had said Napoli would avoid signing any more African players unless they agree 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 any more for this reason,” De Laurentiis told a Wall Street Italia show.

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 likely to fall under Article 14 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations. CAF therefore urges UEFA to initiate disciplinary investigation against him,” CAF said on Sunday.

According to a release on its website, CAF note that it “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 have no doubt that Napoli and UEFA are as committed as CAF is to these global humanitarian objectives.”

CAF queried if Napoli President can also apply such restrictions on players from other continents of the world.

“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 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,” CAF concluded

The timing of the Africa Cup of Nations, AFCON – traditionally played in January and February – has led to repeated disputes with European clubs who are forced to release players in the middle of the season.

But the 2023 AFCON, initially billed for June-July has now been shifted to January 2024 because the host country, Cote d’Ivoire will be experiencing its rainy season in June-July.

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