Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis insists he will refuse to sign African players unless a waiver is signed to ensure they do not play in the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Azzurri lost Senegalese defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who has since moved to Premier League club Chelsea, and Cameroonian midfielder Andre Zambo Anguissa for several games last season while competing in AFCON in January and February – a competition Koulibaly thrived on won with the lions of Teranga.
“Or they sign a waiver giving up their right to play in the Africa Cup of Nations tournaments or between AFCON and the South American Championships,” De Laurentiis said Smart Talk on Wall Street Italia. “I never have them (Napoli players) available.”
Despite the 73-year-old’s frustration, Napoli went unbeaten in five Serie A games last season without their vice-captain Koulibaly, winning a draw at Juventus before winning four games in a row, with another draw against Inter after returning from AFCON .
He criticized the fact that the clubs were agreeing to more and more games and suggested a European tournament with the top clubs from the five strongest countries instead of the Champions League, Europa League and Europa Conference League.
“The world of football cannot manage itself because we do the puppetry for others… if we could play 100 games it would be a happy ending for everyone and we (clubs) like idiots agree.”
The Italian film producer also said he does not support the breakaway European Super League, which was shut down less than 48 hours after it was announced last year as an elite club.
“You can’t create a superclub of privileged members inviting others (to the league). They must democratically keep the door open to everyone,” he said.
The Italian film producer added he was fed up with offers from investment funds for the club, adding that around four to five years ago he was offered €900m by American investors.
“They (bidders) have not understood anything (about me). I’m a pure entrepreneur who likes to do business… let me play,” he said.
“I want to be the 12th player on the pitch. Actually the 12th player is the fan, I can be the 13th or even the 14th as 14 is my favorite number.”
https://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football/aurelio-de-laurentiis-napoli-african-players-b2137253.html Aurelio De Laurentiis: Napoli will not sign any African players unless they agree to a waiver