Napoli, in response to the recent social media controversy involving striker Victor Osimhen, has issued a statement stating that their intention was never to offend or mock the Nigerian superstar. The statement, however, stops short of offering a public apology to Osimhen for the TikTok posts that triggered his threat of legal action.
The first of the two TikTok clips posted by the official Napoli account drew attention as it bizarrely compared Osimhen to a coconut, with some interpreting it as a potential racial slur. The second clip mocked the striker for missing a penalty during Napoli’s scoreless draw against Bologna last weekend. Osimhen, dissatisfied with these posts, had conveyed his intention to take legal action against the club through his lawyer.
Despite the ongoing social media crisis, Osimhen returned to the field on Wednesday for Napoli and contributed by scoring the winning goal in a 4-1 victory over Udinese in Serie A, elevating Napoli to the fifth position in the league table.
The club’s statement, featured on their website, reads:
“So as to avoid the topic being manipulated in any way, Napoli points out that it never meant to offend or mock Victor Osimhen, who is a technical asset of the club.”
The statement emphasized the club’s commitment to Osimhen by highlighting their rejection of transfer offers for the striker during the summer window. Napoli clarified that the expressive language on social media, especially on TikTok, is often created with lightness and creativity, without any intention of mockery or derision in Osimhen’s case.
However, the statement acknowledged that if Osimhen perceived any offense, it was not the club’s desire. Head coach Rudi Garcia expressed satisfaction with Osimhen’s response on the field against Udinese, emphasizing the importance of having the player focused on the game.
Despite his recent performance, Osimhen’s long-term future with Napoli is uncertain. Transfer rumors circulated during the summer, linking him to clubs like Manchester United, Arsenal, and Chelsea. Although Napoli managed to ward off these interests, ongoing negotiations for a new deal face uncertainty due to the TikTok controversy.
Osimhen and Napoli are scheduled to face Lecce on Saturday before a crucial Champions League clash against Real Madrid next Tuesday. The outcome of ongoing discussions and the resolution of the social media dispute will likely play a role in shaping Osimhen’s future with the Serie A club.
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