Footballer, Kalidou Koulibaly has denounced Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis’s intentions to compel African players to miss the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
De Laurentiis put up the controversial rule on Tuesday, stating that any African player who joined the Serie A club would pledge to forgo the competition.
It remains skeptical if the plan would follow through to legal binding.
Ivory Coast will host the upcoming AFCON in January 2024.
Last season, Napoli parted with Senegal defender Koulibaly and Cameroon international Andre-Franck Zambo Anguissa, because they were competing for their countries in the AFCON competition that took place in January and February.
Koulibaly, who had since transferred to Chelsea FC, believed De Laurentiis had overstepped the mark with his comments and asserted that many other club members would not share his opinion.
“Its up to him if he wanted to tell this, but for me the most important thing is to respect everybody,’’ Koulibaly told a news conference in London. “When I played there, I was playing also for Senegal, and I won the AFCON with Senegal when I was playing with Napoli. Its true that it was a difficult moment for them when we went to AFCON, but we won it and I’m really happy today.’’
Koulibaly added, “You cannot speak for African national teams like this, I think. You have to have respect, like you have for other national teams. As captain of Senegal, I think that this is not a good way to speak about African national teams.
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