Kalidou Koulibaly has reacted to the statement made by his former club owner Aurelio De Laurentiis over his statement on African players.
The Italian was quoted saying he would never sign any African player again over participation in the Africa Cup of Nations.
“I told them lads, don’t talk to me about Africans anymore,!” De Laurentiis was speaking during an event by Wall Street Italia.
“I love them, but either they sign something confirming they’ll back out of playing the Africa Cup of Nations, or otherwise… between that tournament, the World Cup qualifiers in South America, these players are never available!
“We are the id*ots who pay salaries only to send them all over the world playing for others.”
Reacting to that, Kalidou Koulibaly has asked Aurelio De Laurentiis to respect Africans and African nations.
“It’s up to him. For me, the most important thing is to respect everybody. I always respect everybody. When I played there, I was also playing for Senegal, and I won AFCON when I was playing at Napoli.
“It’s true it was a difficult moment for them when we went to AFCON, but we won it, and I’m really happy today.
“We have to respect the national teams also. You cannot speak about an African national team like this, I think.
“You have to have respect as you have for the other national teams. As captain of Senegal, I think it’s not a good way to speak about an African national team, but I respect what he thinks. If he thinks the team can play without African players, it’s up to him.
“But I think not everyone in the club has the same idea as him. I know everybody over there, I know the supporters, and the supporters don’t think like this. It’s up to him, but it’s not an idea of the society of the city, because the city is really respectful. This is what he thinks, not what the city is thinking or the society is thinking.”