Invited to the Wall Street Italia channel, the president of SSC Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentiis, spoke for a long time about his vision of football. Due to the timing of the organization of the African Cup of Nations (at the beginning of the calendar year), the Italian announces that he no longer wants to recruit African internationals.
“Don’t talk to me about African players anymore: either they give up playing the African Cup (CAN) when they come to us or we can’t pay salaries to send them to Africa to play with others.” Here are the words of the president of SSC Napoli, Aurelio de Laurentiis, during an interview with the Wall Street Italia channel when discussing his vision of football.
This shocking statement by the Italian president is already widely shared on social networks, a shame for many when the club has African internationals such as Nigerian Victor Osimhen, Cameroonian André-Frank Zambo-Anguissa and Cameroonian Kalidou Koulibaly in its ranks. who has just signed for Chelsea.
The African Cup is generally played at the beginning of the calendar year, which deprives the clubs of their African internationals, like what exists in rugby for international tours. A “problem” for some clubs therefore. Aurelio de Laurentiis would therefore accept African players, according to his words, if they are not entitled to contest the CAN or if they agree not to play.
New controversy in Italy
Country of football, Italy has unfortunately distinguished itself on many occasions by its difficulties in combating racism in its stadiums. All too often in the transalpine enclosures, the players of color are victims of crises and insults. New, Moise Kean (Juventus player and former PSG) or Blaise Matuidi, during his stay in Turin, paid the price.
More cries of monkeys from the park visitors to Kean…
— FrSerieA (@FrSerieA) January 6, 2022
— beIN SPORTS (@beinsports_FR) January 7, 2022
Italian football is plagued by this type of event which occurs many times during the season, and if it is far from being the only country where such things happen, due to its aura and its media coverage, it unfortunately becomes the symbol.
A deeper evil
“The fear of foreigners is very present in Italy. Football is no exception to this. We are not yet used to seeing players of color, even if there are five or six in our team! When it’s in the opposing team, the easiest thing is to make a racist song,” Andrea Silliti, an Italian journalist, told Radio France.
We can sometimes speak of “human stupidity”, when minorities of supporters use this kind of song, but even some of the highest representatives, like Aurelio de Laurentiis, are too often singled out too. “The only way to stop Lukaku is to give him ten bananas to eat,” a Top Calcio 24 consultant said on television.
Here is an extract from the report “I am not a monkey” by Olivier Dacourt, former player of the France team and Italian clubs like Roma or Inter Milan. In particular, we can find this confrontation with an ultra from the Hellas Verona club.
The president of Lazio Rome (a club with a reputation for identity), Claudio Lotito, had declared about the racist songs: “The expression ‘buu’ [semblable à des cris de singe, NDLR] does not always correspond to a discriminatory or racist act. I remember that when I was little, there were often people who were not of color, who had normal, white skin, to whom we made ‘buu’ to push them to miss the but when they arrived in front the Guardian.”
Finally, the captain of Juventus Turin, Bonucci, had very awkwardly defended his teammates (Kean and Matuidi) by saying that the fault was shared because Moise Kean had described his goal against the opposing supporters… no it is not. .