Napoli: Sports minister wades into Osimhen’s crisis

THE Sports Minister, John Enoh, is intervening in the crisis involving Nigerian International striker Victor Oshimen who plays for Italian Serie A champions Napoli.

Apart from the player, the minister also promised to look into the challenges of other Nigerian athletes plying their trades locally and internationally.

The minister made this known via his ‘X’ account against the backdrop of the trials faced by Osimhen and Tobi Amusan.

Oshimen has been in the eye of the storm at his club after expressing displeasure at being taken off by coach Rudy Garcia in the 0-0 draw with Bologna last weekend.

After the match, a video mocking the striker for missing a penalty in that game was published on the club’s TikTok account, which sparked outrage on social media.

On Tuesday, the striker’s agent threatened Napoli with legal action for publishing such a video. But despite the controversy, Oshimen scored his fourth goal of the season during their last match on Wednesday.

Before the Wednesday match, the striker had deleted all pictures linking him with the club on his Instagram page.

The Sports Minister said on his X account in a statement titled: A Rally for Victor Osimhen and All Nigerian Athletes, assured to wield power through his office to avoid injustice to the player and others.

“Over the past weekend, the news coming out of Napoli concerning Super Eagles player -Victor Osimhen saddened me greatly. The travails of Tobi Amusan have been no less so—the reason I made efforts to reach her directly last week.

“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. Under the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we are committed to ensuring our sportsmen and women are accorded the respect they deserve and are not exposed to any injustice,” he tweeted.



    Meanwhile, the club in a statement, had earlier noted that the now-deleted TikTok post was not meant to make fun of Osimhen.

    Napoli reacts to the video

    The statement reads, “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.”

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