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Cisse Reproves De Laurentiis’ Comments As CAF Calls For Disciplinary Action

Cisse
Senegal's head coach, Aliou Cisse,
THEWILL APP ADS 2

August 09, (THEWILL) – Senegal’s head coach, Aliou Cisse, has ‘challenged’ Napoli to refrain from signing African players and believes that international football, and the Africa Cup of Nations in particular, should never take a backseat to club obligations.

The 46-year-old made his remarks after Napoli President and owner, Aurelio de Laurentiis, stated that the Italian club would refrain from recruiting any additional African players unless they agreed to forgo participating in the continent’s biennial competition.

Due to the Nations Cup’s customary January and February dates, European clubs have frequently been compelled to release players in the midst of the ongoing European football season.

Cisse said: “A football player can play for 12 teams, say, but will only have one national team. Clubs will never be above our flag and our national teams. And every Senegalese who play in Europe, wherever he will be, if he is competent, I will call him to defend the colours of the nation. I have a lot of respect for (De Laurentiis), but I challenge them to try to not recruit African players.”

The Confederation of African Football (CAF), the body in charge of football on the continent, also expressed its shock at De Laurentiis’ comments, labelling them as “irresponsible and unacceptable”. It urged UEFA to launch a disciplinary inquiry into the 73-year-old. A statement from CAF read: “Are we to assume (De Laurentiis) is going to include similar restrictive conditions to players from South America, Asia and other confederations prohibiting them from playing in their continental competitions?”