Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis slams ‘bulls***’ 2022 World Cup in Qatar, insists he WASN’T in favour of the European Super League and NEVER wanted to sack Gennaro Gattuso in explosive first interview in five months
- Aurelio De Laurentiis described the 2022 World Cup as ‘bulls*** of the century’
- Napoli chief spoke to press for the first time since Atalanta defeat in February
- He revealed that he was never called about Napoli joining the Super League
- De Laurentiis said the ESL project ‘wouldn’t have solved football’s problems’
- He also spoke out about sacking Gennaro Gattuso at the end of last season
Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis slammed ‘bulls***’ 2022 World Cup in Qatar, insisted he’s never been in favour of the European Super League and didn’t want to sack Gennaro Gattuso in an explosive interview.
De Laurentiis had not communicated with the press for five months as Napoli underwent a media blackout following the club’s 4-2 defeat against Atalanta back in February last year.
But the Napoli chief finally broke his silence as he hit out at the World Cup in Qatar and the plans to create a European Super League.
Napoli chief Aurelio De Laurentiis said the World Cup in Qatar is the ‘bulls*** of the century’
The build-up to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar has been marred by migrant worker deaths
The decision to stage next year’s World Cup in Qatar has been widely condemned due to their humans rights record, with over 6,500 migrant workers having died since Qatar was awarded World Cup host status.
A number of international teams, including Germany, Holland and Norway took a stand by speaking out at press conferences, standing arm-in-arm and wearing t-shirts displaying powerful slogans during games earlier this year, while the latter nation even considered boycotting the tournament altogether.
De Laurentiis pulled no punches as he also slammed the decision to host it in Qatar, telling La Gazzetta dello Sport: ‘The World Cup in 2022 is the super bulls*** of the century.
‘Gianni Infantino is a good person but this stuff was decided before Covid. Now, things have changed, but there are too many interests and Qatar’s interests to look out for. And it will be played in the winter, meaning the championships will have to be stopped.’
Norway wore t-shirts protesting the human rights record of 2022 World Cup hosts, Qatar
Germany sported powerful jerseys which spelled out ‘HUMAN RIGHTS’ in their own protest
QATAR AND HUMAN RIGHTS…
Qatar has a migrant labor force of over two million people, who comprise approximately 95 per cent of its total labor force.
Approximately one million workers are employed in construction while another 100,000 are domestic workers.
The ‘kafala’, or sponsorship, system governing the employment of migrant workers gives employers excessive control over them, including the power to prevent them from changing jobs, escaping abusive labor situations, and, for some workers, leaving the country.
Qatar’s labor law does not guarantee migrant workers the right to strike and to free association.
In August 2019, despite a ban on migrant workers striking, thousands of workers employed by at least three different companies went on strike to protest poor working conditions, unpaid and delayed wages, and threats of reduced wages.
Back in April, the footballing world was plunged into disarray when 12 clubs, including the Premier League’s ‘Big Six.’ announced they would be forming a European Super League before fans’ protests saw the plans collapse.
De Laurentiis revealed that Real Madrid president Florentino Perez, who played an instrumental role in trying to get the project off the ground, never contacted him about Napoli joining the Super League and insisted that he wasn’t a fan of the idea.
‘With Florentino Perez I have been to breakfast several times. But no, he never contacted me,’ he said.
‘We were never in favour of the Super League, because it wasn’t making a 12-way tournament that solve football’s problems.’
He did however claim the UEFA Champions League and Europa League are ‘no good for anyone’ and suggested that the competitions need to be reformed.
De Laurentiis revealed Real Madrid chief Florentino Perez (left) never called him about Napoli joining the European Super League and said he was not a fan of the breakaway project
He did however suggest that the Champions League and Europa League need to be reformed
Napoli will be playing in the Europa League next season after Juventus pipped them to fourth spot on the final day of the Serie A season, subsequently costing Gattuso his job as manager.
The fiery Italian took over Fiorentina after leaving Napoli but lasted just 23 days in the hot seat following a fall-out over transfer targets.
Despite his failure to guide Napoli into Champions League, De Laurentiis has now revealed that he didn’t want to sack Gattuso and ever offered him a new deal.
He added: ‘I never wanted to sack him. At some point I had to worry about what would happen if the situation worsened. I called [Luciano] Spalletti who gave me his availability.
‘I told the team to work, because the manager had the confidence of the club. I talked to [Jorge] Mendes about renewing his deal but we couldn’t agree.’
De Laurentiis also said he didn’t want to fire Gennaro Gattuso despite failure to finish top four