Napoli President Aurelio De Laurentiis’ conditions on signing African players have generated major debate and attracted divergent views.
Although De Laurentiis had stated he admired African players, he desires a signed agreement with potential new transfers to back out of the Africa Cup of Nations.
The Italian football administrator took issue due to the unavailability of players during the Afcon when most European leagues are busy. The biennial competition has mostly been held between January and February.
While many fans were offended by De Laurentiis' statement, many more defended him, saying he is in business and it is not reasonable for him to invest in players who will not be available to play for Napoli.
Others just described the comments as ‘nonsense’. After the departure of Kalidou Koulbialy to Chelsea, only two African stars remain with Napoli; Nigeria’s Victor Osimhen and Andre Zambo Anguissa of Cameroon.
Some asked Osimhen to leave the Serie A club in order to save his African dignity. The advice comes days after Napoli confirmed that the Super Eagles striker would be their designated penalty taker in the 2022/23 season.
Initially, there were reports Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur had set their eyes on the Nigerian.
Another just called out the Italian’s comments as disrespectful.
One fan took his time to ask Osimhen whether he will feature in the next edition of Afcon after De Laurentiis’ statement.