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Napoli owner asks for Super Cup to be moved from Saudi after war outbreak

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis said Tuesday he wants the Italian Super Cup to be played in Italy rather than Saudi Arabia following the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas.

Italian champions Napoli are one of four Serie A teams scheduled to play in the revamped Super Cup in the Gulf state in January, alongside Lazio, Inter Milan and Fiorentina.

Italian media had reported that Napoli and Fiorentina were set to boycott the tournament but De Laurentiis said he just wanted it brought back to Italy over fears a trip to Saudi could be dangerous.

“Have you seen what’s going on in Israel? There could be an air blockade over those areas,” De Laurentiis was quoted as saying by news agency ANSA at an event in Rome.

“How can you even think of putting 120 players who are worth what they are worth on a plane? All that just to earn a few million more? Let’s just do it at the Stadio Olimpico (in Rome).

“It’s not that I want to boycott it. I only asked that we have a think about it (moving the tournament).”

Before this season the Super Cup has featured the Serie A champions and the winners of the Italian Cup, with Inter Milan thumping AC Milan in the most recent edition in Riyadh in January.

This term it will feature last season’s top two in Serie A and the two Italian Cup finalists, in a similar change to the one made to the Spanish Super Cup.

The Super Cup was originally scheduled to be held over January 4-8 next year but following a request from the Saudi authorities earlier this month the tournament is now set to take place January 21-25.

Serie A, who organise the Super Cup, have not confirmed the new dates but have reorganised league matches for the previous weekend with four unspecified matches being moved to January 17-18.

Over 3,000 people have died in the war since Saturday, when hundreds of Hamas militants based in Gaza launched a surprise attack on Israel.

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