'Irresponsible, unacceptable' - CAF slams Napoli president, calls for UEFA sanctions

CAF has told UEFA to sanction Napoli president's for saying he would not sign African players unless they agree to not play in AFCON

CAF President and Napoli President

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has condemned the comments made by Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis over signing African players.

Recall that De Laurentiis earlier stated that he would not be signing any African players in the future unless the players promise to not represent their countries in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The AFCON, which is Africa's flagship continental football competition, takes place biannually usually in January and February.

In response to the comments made by De Laurentiis, Africa's football governing body described the Napoli president's statement as 'irresponsible and unacceptable'

Through an official press statement released on the organisation's official website, CAF stated that De Laurentiis' statements are grounds for sanctions under UEFA's disciplinary regulations.

The statement read in part: "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."

The statement went further to challenge the Napoli president if he would also implement the same restrictions for players from Asia and South America from playing in their continental competitions.

"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," the statement continued.

"We have no 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?"

Napoli currently have three African players in their first-team squad including Super Eagles of Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen as well as Cameroonian midfielder Andre Zambo Anguissa, and Algerian winger Adam Ounas.

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