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HomeSportsSenegal coach Aliou Cisse challenges Napoli over AFCON threat

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse challenges Napoli over AFCON threat

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse challenges Napoli over AFCON threat

Senegal coach Aliou Cisse says international football – and the Africa Cup of Nations in particular – should never play second fiddle to club commitments and has ‘challenged’ Napoli not to buy African players.

The 46-year-old’s comments come after Napoli owner and president Aurelio de Laurentiis said the Italian club will avoid signing any more African players unless they agree not to play in the biennial tournament.

“A football player can play for 12 teams, say, but will only have one national team,” Cisse told BBC Sport Africa.

“Clubs will never be above our flag and our national teams. And every Senegalese who plays 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 timing of the Nations Cup – traditionally played in January and February – has led to repeated disputes with European clubs forced to release players in the middle of the season.

Napoli lost defender Kalidou Koulibaly – who captained Senegal to triumph in the 2021 Nations Cup staged this year in Cameroon – and midfielder Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa to call-ups for the tournament last season and the pair missed six club games.

Source: BBC

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