The Federal Government of Nigeria yesterday said it would reach out to the government of Italy, Napoli and Osimhen over the issues he is having with his club.
In a statement he personally signed, the Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan Enoh, said “Over the past weekend, the developments that came out of Napoli as it pertains to Super Eagles forward, Victor Osimhen, saddened me greatly.
“Moreso, my office is making efforts to reach Victor Osimhen directly as well, so as to understand first-hand what the issues are. We are committed to establishing the facts of the matter.
“I am also in touch with the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, as well as the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Italy, Ambassador Mfawa Abam. Together, we are employing diplomatic avenues with Italy for a more decorous approach to looking into the matter as it is.”
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It will be recalled that the Italian champions posted a video on the social media site which made a joke of Osimhen missing a penalty in Sunday’s 0-0 draw against Bologna, with an odd, sped-up voice dubbed over the top.
Osimhen’s agent has threatened to take legal action against Napoli over the post, which has now been deleted.
In the post, the Partenopei ‘memed’ Osimhen’s penalty miss in an attempt to poke fun at the situation.
The video was met with significant outrage by fans on social media who were befuddled by the decision of a club to use an official account to berate their own player.
But in a statement on Thursday, Napoli stopped short of apologising to Osimhen. “To avoid any potential exploitation of the matter, SSC Napoli would like to explicitly state that the club never intended to offend or make fun of Victor Osimhen, who is an asset to the club.
“Over the course of the summer, Napoli rejected all offers to sign the striker – firm proof of the club’s appreciation of him.
“On social media and TikTok particularly, expressive language is used in a light-hearted and playful manner. In this case, involving Victor. There was no intention of mockery or derision.
“If Victor was in any way offended, this was not at all in the club’s intentions.”