New Chelsea summer signing Kalidou Koulibaly has disclosed that no one can stop him from representing Senegal in wake of Aurelio De Laurentiis’ comments about the Africa Cup of Nations.
De Laurentiis said during an interview with Smart Talk on Wall Street Italia that his club will avoid signing any more African players unless they agree not to play in the Africa Cup of Nations.
Senegal defender Kalidou Koulibaly, who recently joined Chelsea missed six Napoli games while on international duty at this year’s tournament, which took place in January and February.
“Nobody ever told me not to go to AFCON or something like this,” said Koulibaly during a news conference Wednesday.
“Maybe sometimes they try to ask my manager or something like this.
“But me, now as captain of Senegal, when AFCON comes I have to be the first one there, the first one in Senegal.”
Koulibaly, who has signed a four-year contract with Chelsea following the purchase of the club by US businessman Todd Boehly’s consortium, added: “Nobody can tell me not to go to my national team. I have a lot of love for my national team, the team that I play for.
“So, if someone told me to do that, it would be the only time that I can fight with somebody.
“The way we feel all the time with my national team, we are all respectful, we wait for players to come from the Premier League, and everybody is happy to be here.
“Everybody thinks the same as me in the national team. If someone told them not to come they would always fight to come.
“This is the most important thing. Everybody has to give us respect.”