Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis Vows Never to Buy African Players Unless They Agree to One Condition

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis Vows Never to Buy African Players Unless They Agree to One Condition

  • African players wishing to join Napoli might have to rethink their stance after the club's president set a new ultimatum
  • The club would require the players to promise not to participate in the biennial Africa Cup of Nations
  • This new rule spells doom to two African stars, Zambo Franck-Anguissa and Victor Osimhen, who are important players for their national sides

Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis has said that he will no longer buy players who turn out for African national teams.

De Laurentiis has claimed that he will only buy African players unless they vow not to represent their countries at the Africa Cup of Nations(AFCON).

Victor Osimhen, Africa Cup of Nations, Zambo Franck-Anguissa, Napoli, Kalidou Koulibaly, Aurelio De Laurentiis
Victor Osimhen and Zambo Franck-Anguissa are some of the top African players at Napoli right now. Photos by Cesare Purini/Giuseppe Maffia.
Source: Getty Images

In a statement bound to cause widespread reactions from 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.

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Football Italia quoted the head honcho saying,

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.

Napoli currently has some of the continent's top players. Victor Osimhen 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.

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The governing body for African football has always planned for the continent's top bonanza in January, given that Africa has adverse weather conditions in most of its parts around June and July. Next year's showpiece has already been pushed forward.

Former Napoli captain Kalidou Koulibaly is the defending AFCON champion, having led Senegal to victory earlier this year.

Napoli doctor explains why Victor Osimhen will have to wear a protective mask

Sports Brief had earlier reported that a doctor at Italian club Napoli, Roberto Ruggiero, has stated that Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen will continue to wear a protective mask because it gives him a sense of security.

In November 2021, the striker suffered a facial injury after colliding with Milan Skriniar of Inter during a Serie A encounter.

Osimhen was forced to undergo surgery and was ruled out of action for about three months.