Napoli has clarified that their now-deleted social media post was not intended to ridicule Nigerian footballer Victor Osimhen. The controversial TikTok post, which depicted Osimhen missing a penalty with a high-pitched voiceover, triggered a strong reaction from his agent, Roberto Calenda, who even threatened legal action against Napoli for sharing the video.
Calenda expressed his concern on Twitter, stating, “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.”
However, Napoli has asserted that no harm was meant by the post. In a statement released on Thursday, the club stated, “Calcio Napoli, wishing to avoid any exploitation of the issue, point out that we never wanted to offend or mock Victor Osimhen, who is a treasure of this club. As proof of that, during the summer training retreat, the Club firmly rebuffed every offer that was received for the striker’s transfer abroad.”
The statement further explained, “Social media, in particular, TikTok, has always used an expressive form of language with a light heart and creativity, without wanting to, as in the case with Osimhen as a protagonist, have any intention of insult or derision. In any case, if Victor perceived any offence towards him, this was not what the club intended.”
In response to this situation, Osimhen, who played a pivotal role in Napoli’s first Scudetto win in 30 years, deleted all Napoli-related content from his Instagram account. During the summer transfer window, Osimhen was a target for clubs like Manchester United, but Napoli rejected offers for the striker.
On Thursday, John Enoh, the Minister of Sports Development, expressed reservations about the matter and stated, “My office is trying to reach Victor Osimhen directly as well to understand first-hand the issues. We are committed to establishing the facts of the matter.” He also mentioned diplomatic efforts involving the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Ambassador to Italy to address the situation properly.