Ancelotti under fire as players rebel against training lockdown

Naples (Italy) (AFP) –


Napoli coach Carlo Ancelotti was told by the Italian club on Wednesday to take charge as players abandoned an enforced training camp following a series of poor results.

Club president Aurelio De Laurentiis ordered the team to be confined to a training camp after last weekend's 2-1 league defeat to Roma saw the southerners slip to seventh in Serie A.

But as Ancelotti disagreed with the lockdown, the players all returned home after a 1-1 draw against Salzburg on Tuesday which stalled their bid to reach the Champions League last 16.

"The responsibility to decide on ordering days in a training retreat lies with coach Carlo Ancelotti," the club said in a statement Wednesday.

The club also threatened action against the players.

"With reference to the behaviour of the players yesterday (Tuesday), it (the club) will proceed to protect its rights on an economic, capital, image and disciplinary levels in every competent jurisdiction," the statement added.

"A press silence has been ordered from now until a date yet to be decided."

Ancelotti refused to attend Tuesday's post-match press conference in Naples.

"The club has taken this decision and we have to accept it. But, if you ask me if I agree, I would say no," Ancelotti said concerning the training camp on Monday.

Napoli have taken just two points from their last three Serie A games and are now 11 points behind leaders Juventus.

The training camp was supposed to run until they host Genoa on Saturday at their San Paolo Stadium.

Napoli are still on course to qualify for the Champions League knockout rounds as they are second in Group E behind Liverpool, four points ahead of Salzburg, with two games to play.

Ancelotti, 60, took over from Maurizio Sarri in May 2018 on a three-year contract.

He arrived in Naples boasting three Champions League trophies from his spells with AC Milan and Real Madrid, and a Premier League trophy from his two-year tenure at Chelsea.

The southerners have not lifted the Serie A title since the days of Diego Maradona in 1990.