ROME – Napoli’s decision to fine its players for abandoning an in-season training camp ordered by the club is being contested by world players’ union FIFPro.
The training camp was called for by Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis following a 1-1 draw at home with Salzburg in the Champions League a month ago.
“Napoli’s intention to withhold player salaries is without valid grounds and is being contested collectively,” the union said in a statement over the weekend. “FIFPRO believes that the ad-hoc decision of Napoli forbidding players to go home and re-join their families was unjustified.
“Like every other employee, professional football players have the right to ensure that their private life is respected, especially considering the already congested fixture list which sees many players away from home for prolonged periods,” FIFPro added.
De Laurentiis fined the players up to 50 percent of their October salaries, with captain Lorenzo Insigne reportedly ordered to pay the most at €350,000 (nearly $400,000), followed by midfielder Allan at €150,000 ($165,000).
The fines could total €2.3 million ($2.5 million).
Since Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti said publicly that he was not in agreement with the training camp, Italian Players’ Association president Damiano Tomassi said “it needs to be understood if and how the request for the training camp was formalized.”
FIFPro said the grounds for the fines “contradict provisions in Italy’s collective bargaining agreement.”
Meanwhile, Napoli has continued to struggle amid a six-match winless streak in the Italian first division that has dropped the Partenopei to seventh place, prompting Ancelotti to announce Monday that another training camp will be held beginning Wednesday for three nights — concluding with Saturday’s match at Udinese.
Including the Champions League and a 1-1 draw at defending champion Liverpool last week, Napoli has gone eight games in all competitions without a victory.
“This is a technical and tactical issue,” Ancelotti said following a 2-1 loss at home to Bologna on Sunday. “The team is too inconsistent and there are many ways of improving that, by having a more solid tactical shape, like the one we had in Liverpool.”
The last time a team coached by Ancelotti went on a six-match winless streak in a domestic league came at Chelsea nine years ago.
“We are all united, we are all suffering in this delicate moment and we all want to resolve these issues together,” Ancelotti said.