Sconcerti defends Napoli president on 'racism' accusations over African players

The Italian journalist also blame Osimhen's injury and the 2021 AFCON for Napoli not winning the Serie A last season

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has Nigeria's Victor Osimhen and Cameroon's Andre Zambo Anguissa in his squad

Italian journalist Mario Concerti has backed the president of Italian Serie A side Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentiis over his recent comments concerning African players.

De Laurentiis recently made the headlines for stating that he would no longer sign African players unless they agree to not play at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

The Napoli president has faced backlash for his comments including a call for sanctions from the Confederation of African Football (CAF), organisers of the AFCON.

However, Sconcerti has leapt to the defence of De Laurentiis, stating that Napoli's failed title attempt during the 2021/22 season can be attributed to Nigerian striker Victor Osimhen and the AFCON.

While Osimhen did not participate in the 2021 AFCON, the Super Eagles striker was out with injury for about two months between December 2021 and February 2022.

As reported by ilnapolista, Sconcerti said: "The coach is not the Napoli problem. The problems were Osimhen and his injury, the African Cup.

"He is right De Laurentiis, who has been criticized for racism but this is not the case. It is not a problem of skin color but of calendars."

The Italian pundit went on to argue that it is the right of the Napoli president and coach to decide which kind of players they want in the squad.

“About the fact that a manager decides not to take players who participate in another tournament during the championship? What are they investigating?" Sconcerti argued.

"He explained well why he no longer wants to take certain players. If a manager he thinks doesn't suit him, he has every right not to. What does race have to do with it? It is the same for South Americans."

Napoli currently have three Africans in their poolsquad with Cameroonian midfielder Andre Zambo Anguissa and Algerian winger Adam Ounas joined byOsimhe I