Napoli plan to fine players over training camp exit 'unjustified'

Napoli players
Napoli are currently seventh in the Serie A table, 15 points behind leaders Juventus

World footballers' union Fifpro says Napoli's intention to fine players for leaving a training camp is unjustified.

Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis ordered a week-long camp after the team slipped 11 points behind Juventus.

The players left the camp and returned to their families after three days, although they continued training.

"Like every other employee, professional football players have the right to ensure that their private life is respected," a Fifpro statement said.

Napoli have been contacted by the BBC but are yet to respond.

Manager Carlo Ancelotti and his players all returned home following their 1-1 draw with Red Bull Salzburg in the Champions League on 5 November and have since drawn three further matches, including a Champions League fixture at Liverpool this week.

Fifpro added: "The already congested fixture list sees many players away from home for prolonged periods.

"The players of Napoli cannot be subjected to arbitrary decisions of a disenchanted club when the result of a match is unsatisfactory.

"Technical matters are not the responsibility of club directors and we support Ancelotti and the players of Napoli for their united stand in clearly difficult times."

Fifpro said it was "ready to assist" along with Italian players' association AIC to ensure the team was not "subjected to further abuse and intimidation".

A "ritiro" - where the team is confined to a hotel or sometimes the club's own training base - is a common practice in Italian football for sides on a bad run.

Earlier this month, Napoli issued a statement to say the club would "protect" its rights, and clarified that the ritiro was not a punishment for players but a "constructive" move.

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