Napoli President, Aurelio De Laurentiis has declared he will never again sign an African player ‘unless they sign an agreement backing out of the Africa Cup of Nations’.

The African Cup Of Nations (AFCON) finals take place every two years and often run for a month from the start of January, midway through the season of Europe’s top leagues.

It was moved to the summer for the first time in 2019, which appeased managers of European clubs, but the tournament returned to its usual winter schedule for the 2021 edition.

This isn’t the first time European club owner or manager has talked down on the timing and grumbled about releasing their players for the tournament.

Senegal accused Watford of refusing to release Ismaila Sarr for the Africa Cup of Nations in January.

Jurgen Klopp was believed to have also belittled the tournament earlier this year by many Africans, when he referred to it as a ‘little tournament’.

Speaking on a Wall Street Italia talk show, Napoli President, De Laurentiis said: “Guys don’t talk to me about the Africans anymore.

“I love them but either they sign a waiver and pull out of playing in the AFCON because otherwise between the AFCON and the Copa America (players) they’re never available. We are the suckers who pay their wages…”