Napoli chief executive, Aurelio De Laurentiis has reaveled he will no longer buy players who turn out of African national team, Newspremises reports.
De Laurentiis said he will only consider buying Africans who vow not to represent their countries at the Africa Cup of Nations(AFCON).
In a statement which has sparked widespread reactions amongst African football stakeholders, De Laurentiis has said that it is unfair for European clubs to keep paying salaries to these players while they are representing other interests.
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. We are the idiots who pay salaries only to send them all over the world playing for others.
The Italian Serie A club have some Africans top players; the likes of Victor Osimhen who is a regular striker for the Super Eagles for Nigeria, while Zambo Franck-Anguissa is a midfield lynchpin for the Indomitable Lions of Cameroon.
The scheduling of AFCON has always conflicted with European major leagues, with most editions happening in January when the leagues are in full swing. At this year’s edition, there was contention over Watford and Nigeria striker Emmanuel Dennis after he failed to report to his national side.
Former Napoli captain Kalidou Koulibaly is the defending AFCON champion, having led Senegal to victory earlier this year.