Chelsea's £34m summer signing Koulibaly blasts old club Napoli's president for saying he won't sign African players | The Sun

NAPOLI president Aurelio De Laurentiis has been slammed by new Chelsea signing Kalidou Koulibaly following his comments over African players.

De Laurentiis has claimed that he will no longer bring African players to Naples out of fear of losing them to the Africa Cup of Nations.

And he declared that he will only bring in the players from the continent if they agree not to play in Afcon which takes place every other year in January and February.

Senegal international Koulibaly missed five Italian top-flight matches earlier this year as he helped his country win the prestigious tournament.

And the defender, who swapped Serie A for Stamford Bridge in a £34million deal last month, has called on his former employer to show more respect for African countries.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, the 31-year-old was asked for his opinion on De Laurentiis' views.


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To which he said: "It's up to him, if he wanted to say this. But for me the most important thing is to respect everybody.

"When I played there I was playing also for Senegal. I won Afcon when I was playing for Senegal for Napoli.

"It's true it's difficult for them, but I think you have to respect the national team also.

"You have to have respect like you have of European national teams.

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"As captain of Senegal it's not a good way to speak about African nationality, but I respect what he thinks.

"If he thinks that, it's up to him, but I think not everybody has the same idea as him in the club. The supporters don't think like this.

"It's up to him, it's not an idea of the society or the city, the city is respectful of everything.

"This world, it's what he thinks, not what the team thinks or what the city thinks."

Koulibaly, who will wear the iconic No26 jersey in West London, asked John Terry for permission to use his old shirt number.

It will be the first time the number will be worn by any player since the Blues legend left for Aston Villa in 2017.

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