Serie A champions, Napoli, has finally spoken about a TikTok video it posted on their official page which has been generating reactions in Italy and across the world.
The clip appears to mock the 24-year-old Nigeria international for missing a penalty during their 0-0 draw with Bologna in Serie A last weekend.
That proved to be the game’s defining moment and was a rare miss from the forward – who had scored three goals already in his first five matches this season.
In the post that has now been deleted, 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 said: “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.”
The player’s agent had on Wednesday put out an official statement denouncing the video.
In a statement shared by Italian Journalist, Fabrizio Romano, the striker’s agent, Roberto Calenda, hinted that Osimhen is considering legal action against his club.
Calenda said: “What happened today on Napoli’s official profile on the TikTok platform is not acceptable. A video mocking Victor was first made public and then, but now belatedly, deleted.”
“A serious fact that causes very serious damage to the player and adds to the treatment that the boy is suffering in the last period between media trials and fake news. We reserve the right to take legal action and any useful initiative to protect Victor.”
On Thursday, the Federal Government of Nigeria said it would reach out to the government of Italy, Napoli and Osimhen over the issues he is having with his club.
Senator John Owan Enoh, Minister of Sports Development, disclosed this in a statement he personally signed in Abuja.
He 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.”