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Napoli issue statement on Victor Osimhen controversy

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The Nigerian striker’s relationship with Napoli has worsened over controversial posts on the club’s TikTok account.

Napoli have broken their silence regarding a controversial TikTok video that appeared to mock their star striker, Victor Osimhen. 

On Thursday, the club issued a statement emphasizing that the video was not meant to offend Osimhen, who is considered a vital asset to the team.

The TikTok post, which has since been deleted, featured footage of Osimhen appealing for a penalty during a recent match against Bologna. The video also showed him missing the spot-kick. Osimhen’s agent, Roberto Calenda, strongly criticized Napoli’s social media post and even threatened legal action against the Serie A club.

In their statement, Napoli described the 24-year-old striker as a “treasure of the club” but did not directly apologize for the video. The club also highlighted Osimhen’s importance by mentioning that they had turned down several transfer offers for him during the summer, demonstrating their valuation of the player.

“Calcio Napoli, wishing to avoid any exploitation of the issue, point out that we never wanted to offend or mock Victor Osimhen, who is a treasure of this club,” the club said.

“As proof of that, during the summer training retreat, the club firmly rebuffed every offer that was received for the striker’s transfer abroad.

“Social media, in particular TikTok, has always used an expressive form of language with a light heart and creativity, without wanting to, as in the case with Osimhen as protagonist, have any intention of insult or derision.

“In any case, if Victor perceived any offence towards him, this was not what the club intended.”

Despite the controversy, Osimhen returned to the Napoli lineup for Wednesday’s match against Udinese. He scored the team’s second goal but refrained from celebrating. After the game, Napoli’s head coach, Rudi Garcia, insisted that Osimhen remains fully committed to the club’s project.