Italy: after the TikTok controversy, Osimhen proclaims his love for Naples
Napoli striker Victor Osimhen on Sunday defended his club and the Neapolitans, accused of racism, especially in Nigeria after the publication of a video mocking him on Napoli's TikTok account. "Joining Naples in 2020 was a wonderful decision, the Neapolitan people showed me so much love and kindness, I will not allow anyone to interfere between them and me," he wrote in a statement.
Victor Osimhen applauds Neapolitan fans after the Lecce-Napoli match on September 30, 2023. REUTERS - CIRO DE LUCA
By: RFI Follow
The accusations against the people of Naples are false, I have many Neapolitan friends who are now part of my family and my daily life " he continued. "I thank the Nigerians and all those who have supported me and sent me messages (...) Let's support unity, respect and understanding," added the top scorer of the Italian league last season.
Osimhen found himself at the heart of a controversy earlier this week when the club, reigning Italian champions, published on his TikTok account mocking him. The Napoli publication, since deleted, showed the missed penalty attempt by Osimhen against Bologna (0-0) last Sunday, as part of the 5th day of the Italian Championship, commented by a high-pitched voice saying "Give me penalty please".
What happened on Napoli's official account on the TikTok platform is not acceptable," the player's agent, Roberto Calenda, wrote on X (ex-Twitter).
We reserve the right to take legal action and take any useful initiative to protect Victor," he warned. In the aftermath, Osimhen had removed from his social networks almost all the photos showing him with the Napoli jersey.
Napoli did not apologize
In his statement released Sunday, Osimhen, coveted in the off-season by European cadors and a Saudi club who received a refusal from the president and owner of Napoli Aurelio De Laurentiis, recalled that "neither (his) love for the club's crest nor (his) pride in wearing it had changed. "
Osimhen has scored five goals this season, including one against Lecce on Saturday (4-0), a victory that propelled Napoli to 3rd place.
Napoli had issued a statement on Friday saying "it never intended to offend or mock Victor Osimhen", without however formally apologizing to him.
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