Nigeria’s Sports Minister John Owan Enoh has said his country is pursuing diplomatic avenues with Italy over the mocking of Nigerian footballer Victor Osimhen by Italian football club Napoli.
Mr Enoh on Thursday said that he was “saddened” by the news of Napoli ridiculing the 24-year-old striker, who also plays for Nigeria’s national football team.
The club shared a video on their TikTok account of Osimhen missing a penalty, dubbed with a high-pitched voice saying “gimme penalty please”.
The club deleted the post after a backlash, but the player’s agent has threatened legal action against the club.
Mr Enoh also said that the Nigerian government placed a priority on protecting the welfare of its athletes.
“We are committed to ensuring our sportsmen and women are accorded the respect they deserve and are not exposed to any injustice,” Mr Enoh said.
On Thursday, Napoli released a statement saying that the video was created with “expressive language used in a light-hearted and playful manner”.
It also said that it “never intended to offend or make fun of Victor Osimhen, who is an asset to the club”.