Napoli president could face hefty fine after pushing cameraman ahead of CL match

AP , Tuesday 12 Mar 2024

Napoli and their president Aurelio De Laurentiis could face a heavy fine from UEFA after he pushed a cameraman in an ongoing spat with Italian media.

Aurelio De Laurentiis
SSC Napoli s Italian president Italian Aurelio De Laurentiis (L) is pictured before a press conference on the eve of their UEFA Champions League last 16 second leg football match against FC Barcelona at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona on March 11, 2024. AFP


The incident occurred when Napoli forward Matteo Politano was giving an interview to Italian television station Sky Sport, at the side of the field, on the eve of Napoli’s Champions League match at Barcelona on Tuesday.

The interview was being broadcast live when De Laurentiis rushed onto the field, yelling: “Politano! Politano! With you (Sky), he’s not allowed to talk.”

Politano was forced to leave, smiling bemusedly. De Laurentiis then turned back to the camera and hurled insults, before pushing the cameraman — who had to take a few steps backwards to avoid losing his balance.

Italian media reports that De Laurentiis had said he would only allow his players to be interviewed by Neapolitans or journalists who supported Napoli.

“Sky Sport decides who does Sky Sport interviews,” said channel director Federico Ferri in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “I’m speechless at what happened to our journalist and our cameraman: I condemn it without other comments.

“One thing is certain: we’ll go ahead as always, with professionalism, accuracy, credibility. And courtesy.”

De Laurentiis last month put a halt on pre-match news conferences — apart from when obliged to in the Champions League — and also recently banned the team from talking to DAZN, which broadcasts every Serie A match in Italy.

He has often instigated a total media blackout by the club.

Napoli play at Barcelona on Tuesday in the return leg of the Champions League round of 16. They drew 1-1 in the first leg, which was Francesco Calzona’s first match in charge after becoming Napoli’s third coach of the season.

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