ARCHIV - 23.09.2018, Italien, Turin: Fußball: Serie A, Italien, 5. Spieltag FC Turin - SSC Neapel im Olympiastadion. Neapels Präsident Aurelio De Laurentiis sitzt auf der Tribüne. (zu dpa: «SSC-Neapel-Chef sorgt mit Aussage über Afrikaner für Empörung»). Foto: Alessandro Di Marco/ANSA/AP/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

With a derailment about African footballers, the President of SSC Napoli caused a stir and outrage in Italy. Aurelio de Laurentiis announced that he would only want to sign players from Africa under certain conditions. He justified this by saying that those professionals miss several games every two years during the season because of the Africa Cup of Nations. “People, don’t come to me with Africans anymore,” said the entrepreneur. He loves those players, but only wants to have them in the future if they give him written notice not to take part in the Africa Cup of Nations.

De Laurentiis added in the video interview with Wall Street Italia that the clubs are the “fools” who pay the players who then play for others.

Critics accuse the 73-year-old, who repeatedly attracts attention with controversial comments, of racism. “As the captain of Senegal, I have to say that it’s not right to talk about an African team like that,” said defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who recently joined Chelsea from Napoli. There was initially no public reaction from the current African SSC professionals, such as the offensive jewel Victor Osimhen from Nigeria.