Football

Napoli Threaten To Stop Osimhen from AFCON With Legal Action

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Napoli are planning to sue countries that provide call-ups to their players ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which will be held in Cameroon next year.

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.

The 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 could miss the competition — Adam Ounas, Kalidou Koulibaly, Faouzi Ghoulam, André Anguissa, and Victor Osimhen, if the Nigerian is declared fit — thus jeopardizing their title prospects.

After starting training following cheekbone surgery in November, 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.

“Given the epidemiological situation, there may be legal action,” Napoli lawyer Grassani told CalcioNapoli24. “This tournament (AFCON) takes away valuable resources from the clubs.”
“It would be different if we were 99 percent sure in the scenario since it is a historic occasion.” The clubs spent a lot of money to get players like Victor Osimhen, so it would be difficult to deal with if he were afflicted.

“The first step would be legal action to prevent the call-up, followed by more appeals to get an exemption for Europe-based players if there were tangible components to sue because the health requirements are not the same as in European events.”

Due to COVID-19 concerns, several European clubs have refused to allow their players to compete in the AFCON in January.