The Confederation of Africa Football [CAF] have responded to Napoli's president, Aurelio de Laurentiis for claiming he will not sign African players who are committed to play for the countries at the Africa Cup of Nations [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.
However, the continent football governing body have asked Uefa to punish the Serie A club president.
- Full statement below:
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 are likely to fall under Article 14 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations. CAF, therefore, urges UEFA to initiate a disciplinary investigation against him.
CAF is committed to the role that football plays in Africa, Europe, North and South America, Asia, and globally in 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.
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.