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Nigerian sports minister weighs in on Osimhen mockery at Napoli

Nigerian sports minister weighs in on Napoli-Osimhen rift

The Nigerian Minister for Sport, John Owan Enoh, has released a statement addressing the recent social media videos released by Napoli that appeared to mock Victor Osimhen.

The former Nigerian senator expressed a personal commitment to investigate the situation, driven by concerns of discrimination.

Osimhen was targeted by Napoli’s official TikTok account in two videos. One mocked his penalty miss against Bologna, while the other compared him to a coconut. 

The 24-year-old striker who fired Napoli to their first Serie A title since the days of the legendary Diego Maradona was left outraged by the videos that flooded the media.

While Osimhen and his agent Roberto Calenda considered the possibility of legal action against the Italian title holders, they ultimately decided against it. 

However, the Nigerian minister has vowed to protect Osimhen’s reputation, emphasising the potential harm such discrimination from the club could inflict on the player’s career.

“My office is working hard to reach Osimhen firsthand and understand what the problems are and to establish the facts clearly,” Enoh said in a statement (via Calciomercato).

“I am also in contact with the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Nigerian Ambassador to Italy. We are using diplomatic channels to explore the issue with Italy. 

“We are committed to ensuring that our sportspeople are given the respect they deserve and that they are not exposed to injustice, discrimination and unfair mockery that could be detrimental to their careers.” 

Napoli had issued a statement of their own, claiming they never intended to offend Osimhen but have faced backlash for failing to apologise to the striker properly.

Despite the ongoing saga, Osimhen was named in the squad for Wednesday’s home victory over Udinese, netting the second goal as the Partenopei ran out 4-0 winners.

Having already bagged four goals in six games this season, the Nigerian international will be looking to add to his tally when Napoli travel to Lecce at the weekend.

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