Serie A giants Napoli are ready to sue countries that provide call-ups to their players ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which will be held in January 2022.
According to the club’s lawyer, Mattia Grassani, Napoli would take legal action to protect its players, particularly in light of the recent increase of COVID-19 cases around the world, with Cameroon, where only 5% of the population is vaccinated, being mentioned as one of the explanations.
CAF confirmed on Tuesday that the competition, which is set to take place in Cameroon from January 9 to February 6, 2022, will take place as planned.
At least five Napoli players — Adam Ounas, Kalidou Koulibaly, Faouzi Ghoulam, André Anguissa, and Victorino — could leave the club.
If Osimhen is declared fit for the competition, it might jeopardize their title aspirations.
After resuming training following cheekbone surgery, Osimhen proclaimed himself fit for the competition on Tuesday.
Grassani claims that the club has put a lot of money into the players and that they will not sit back and watch them be exposed to COVID-19 at the AFCON.
“Considering the epidemiological situation, there could be legal action, because this tournament (AFCON) takes away valuable resources from the clubs,” Napoli lawyer Grassani told CalcioNapoli24.
“It is a particular historic moment, so it would be different if we felt 99 per cent confident of the situation. The clubs invested a lot of money for signing players like Victor Osimhen, so if he were to become infected, that’d be tough to deal with.
“The first step would be legal action to prevent the call-up, then if there were concrete elements to sue because the health standards are not the same as in European competitions, then there could be more appeals to gain an exemption for Europe-based players.”
Due to COVID-19 concerns, several European clubs have refused to allow their players to compete in the AFCON in January.