Football News

Napoli release statement after Victor Osimhen’s agent threatens legal action for TikTok post

By Harry Edwards

Published: 21:15, 28 September 2023 | Updated: 20:12, 30 September 2023

Victor Osimhen’s agent has threatened to take legal action against Napoli after an official club account mocked the Nigerian on social media.

Osimhen is the star man at Napoli and was the goalscorer extraordinaire behind their Serie A title last season. The Nigerian striker scored 26 goals in 32 Serie A matches last season to help Napoli end a 33-year wait for the title. His performances saw Osimhen linked with a big money move away from Napoli, with reported interest from the likes of Manchester United and Chelsea, but he stayed put.

Osimhen started the new season well too, scoring three goals in his first two games as Napoli being Frosinone and Sassuolo. But things quietened down slightly with Osimhen failing to score in his next three Serie A matches, with Napoli losing one and drawing two.

At the weekend it was a goalless draw away to Bologna, with Osimhen missing a second-half penalty awarded for handball, sending his shot wide of the goal. That missed penalty was the subject the controversy, which surrounds Napoli’s social media accounts.

After the game, a video was shared on Napoli’s official TikTok account, showing the missed penalty with a high-pitched voice dubbed over Osimhen saying “gimme penalty please”. Napoli’s TikTok has 4.5 million followers, with most of their recent posts hitting at least a million views each.

The post has since been deleted, but the damage was done, especially with many fans screen recording the video to share across other social media platforms. It wasn’t the only bad video on Napoli’s account either. A few days earlier, another post on the official account compared Osimhen to a coconut.

Understandably, Osimhen is said to be very unhappy with Napoli’s social media team, and his Instagram now only has one image related to the club. On top of that, Osimhen’s agent Roberto Calenda has threatened legal action against Napoli.

“We reserve the right to take legal action and any useful initiative to protect Victor,” Calenda wrote on Twitter.

“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.”

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Already, Osimhen is being linked with a move away from Napoli, both in the January transfer window and at the end of the current season, with some capitalising on the situation to stir up reports. Chelsea is a name that has already been thrown out, while Saudi Arabia is another reported option.

Despite the controversial and unhappiness, Osimhen was named in Napoli’s 24-man squad for their Serie A match against Udinese and started.

“We were frustrated after the draw vs Bologna, then some awkward things on social media didn’t help us in the last two days,” Napoli manager Rudi Garcia said before the game.

“I spoke to Victor, it’s key to have him focused on the game. He’s going to do his best for Napoli.”

There was a lot to talk about from the first half with Napoli getting a penalty. Piotr Zielinski stepped up to take it and scored, and he was soon joined on the scoresheet by Osimhen.

The Nigerian was played through by Matteo Politano and took a touch before finishing, not really celebrating, allowing his teammates to embrace him while checking for an offside call. But he did later hug a Napoli teammate on the bench.

Of course, that was the story of the night, with Osimhen ending a four-game goal drought across all competitions.

Napoli have since released an official statement on the controversy, stating they appreciate Osimhen having rejected all transfer offers in the summer. They also stopped short of apologising, merely insisting it was not their intention to offend Osimhen.

“To avoid any potential exploitation of the matter, SSC 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,” the statement read.

“Over the course of the summer Napoli rejected all offers to sign the striker – firm proof of the club’s 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.

“If Victor was in any way offended, this was not at all in the club’s intentions.”