The Confederation of African Football (CAF) has taken a swipe at the President of Napoli, Aurelio de Laurentiis, over his recent comments against African players and the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).
CAF said the remarks by De Laurentiis were unacceptable and irresponsible after the latter stressed that African players coming to Napoli must sign a waiver to withdraw from the AFCON competition.
According to the continental football governing body, in a statement released on Sunday, the decision by the Napoli President likely falls under Article 14 of the UEFA Disciplinary Regulations.
Going by the above Disciplinary Regulation, CAF have charged the Union of European Football Associations to commence a disciplinary investigation against De Laurentiis.
“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 disciplinary investigation against him,” CAF said.
The continental football governing body stressed that they are committed to the role that unites diverse people of different cultural and language backgrounds.
“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 football continental body said.
Furthermore, CAF noted that they believe that Napoli and UEFA are committed to the same humanitarian role as it does.
“We have no doubt that Napoli and UEFA are as committed as CAF is to these global humanitarian objectives,” CAF said.
However, the continental football governing body asked De Laurentiis if he was going to extend such actions against players from other continents from taking part in their continental competition.
CAF asked, “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?
Recall that Napoli President recently made a comment where he said the club will never sign African players unless they are ready to sign a waiver, prohibiting them from taking part in AFCON.
CAF, to exemplify the importance of AFCON to the African people, explained that 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.”