The Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, says the Federal Government is employing diplomatic means to address the recent event surrounding Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen and his club Napoli.
Osimhen is apparently unhappy with Napoli after the Italian club posted a video seemingly mocking him for missing a penalty against Bologna on its verified TikTok handle.
Napoli’s action generated a lot of reactions globally, with many football fans berating the club for treating its star player with disrespect.
After threatening legal action against Napoli through his agent, Osimhen went on to pulled down all images related to the club from his Instagram page in what seemed to be a response to Napoli over the video.
Napoli has however said the club’s now-deleted Tik Tok post was not intended to mock their “treasure” Osimhen.
But reacting to the whole saga in a statement on his official X handle, formerly Twitter on Thursday, Enoh said he was saddened by Napoli’s Tik Tok post, adding that doping travails of athlete Tobi Amusan was not less saddening.
“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,” he said.
The sports minister stated that he is in touch with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yusuf Maitama Tuggar and the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Italy, Ambassador Mfawa Abam to steer a proper approach to the event.
“Together, we are employing Diplomatic avenues with Italy for a more proper approach to looking into the matter as it is,” Enoh stated.
He affirmed that under President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s administration, the ministry is committed to ensuring Nigerian sportsmen and women are accorded the respect they deserve and are not exposed to any injustice.
Enoh added that the welfare of Nigerian athletes, home-based and international-based, would be the ministry’s topmost priority and to create an environment that enables and ensures their continued success.
The TikTok post, which was subsequently deleted, showed Osimhen failing to score his spot-kick in a Serie A match with a high-pitched voice saying “gimme penalty please.”
A subsequent video drew comparisons between Osimhen and a coconut, sparking a furious reaction from Roberto Calenda.