Former Napoli captain Kalidou Koulibaly has responded to club President Aurelio De Laurentiis’ comments regarding African players. The outspoken Napoli owner made the comments during a live-stream, saying his would go out of his way to avoid signing players of African origin: “We are the idiots who pay salaries only to send them all over the world playing for others,” De Laurentiis said.
The comments were met with criticism and Koulibaly, who left Napoli this summer, offered his own thoughts:
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.
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.”