• Wednesday, May 29, 2024
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Napoli insist TikTok video not intended to mock Osimhen

Napoli on Thursday insisted they did not intend to offend Victor Osimhen after appearing to mock the striker in a video on TikTok.

The Italian champions posted a video on the social media site which made a joke of Osimhen missing a penalty in Sunday’s 0-0 draw against Bologna, with an odd, sped-up voice dubbed over the top.

Osimhen’s agent threatened to take legal action against Napoli over the post, which has now been deleted.

The Italian chamion stopped short of apologising to the Nigerian international as they addressed the matter.

“To avoid any potential exploitation of the matter, 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 clubs 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.

Read also: Osimhen draws battle lines with Napoli over TikTok video

“If Victor was in any way offended, this was not at all in the club’s intentions,” read a statement on the team’s official website.

Napoli manager Rudi Garcia insisted Osimhen is committed to the club although reports suggest he could be considering his future.

Osimhen has a deal at Napoli until 2025 and there is said to be interest from Saudi Arabia.

“I can assure you that Victor loves this jersey,” Garcia said after Wednesday’s win over Udinese, in which Osimhen scored but refused to celebrate. “He is invested 100 per cent in our project.

“I have a very good relationship with Victor. I am happy for him because he scored tonight.

“Over the last two days there was a bit of trouble with some clumsy behaviour. Nobody wanted to be hurtful, not the TikTok with the video of Victor, nor Victor by taking his photographs down on social media.

“Nobody intended to hurt anyone, these are instinctive reactions and are understandable. It is his social media account, he can do what he wants with it.

“After the match in Bologna, we were all frustrated, angry, Victor in particular, because he missed the penalty. On the sporting aspect and on other levels, especially on TikTok, there have been a lot of things to manage in recent days,” Garcia said.

Osimhen’s agent Roberto Calenda issued a statement on Tuesday night about the incident.

“What happened today on Napoli’s official profile on the TikTok platform is not acceptable. A video mocking Victor was first made public and then, but now belatedly, deleted.

“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,” Calenda wrote on X (Twitter) handle.

Read also: Osimhen snubs teammates after Napoli TikTok jab

Few hours after Calenda’s comments, Osimhen removed almost all Napoli-related photos from his Instagram, including last season’s Scudetto celebrations.

Osimhen also stopped following Napoli on Instagram before re-following the Italian champion.

The Nigerian striker has also sparked Premier League transfer rumours after he threatened to sue his own club over the TikTok video which appeared to mock him.