The Nigerian Ministry of Sports Development has waded into the Victor Osimhen situation at Napoli.
The Ministry said it will not allow the country’s sportsmen and women to be exposed to any injustice, saying it has moved to intervene in Super Eagles’ forward, Victor Osimhen’s feud with his Italian club side, Napoli.
The Minister of Sports Development, John Enoh, stated this on Thursday adding that he had started moves to resolve the issue between Osimhen and Napoli.
SaharaReporters earlier reported that the club side, Società Sportiva Calcio Napoli, said it had no intention of offending Osimhen by posting a video on TikTok that appeared to mock its star striker.
Napoli's social media account sparked controversy by posting a video of the Nigerian forward missing a penalty while a high-pitched voice played over the top saying: "Gimme penalty please".
Osimhen's agent suggested they could take legal action against the Serie A side because of the video and the player removed all mention of the club from his Instagram account.
Osimhen then refrained from celebrating his goal against Udinese and the apparent breakdown in his relationship with Napoli has resulted in reports that he could leave, with Real Madrid and clubs from Saudi Arabia said to be after him.
Napoli has attempted to resolve the situation by releasing a statement insisting they did not mean to upset Osimhen, but they stopped short of making an apology.
"In any case, if Victor perceived any offence towards him, this was not what the club intended," it had added.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian sports minister said he was sad over the issue, saying he had made contact with Foreign Affairs Minister Yusuf Maitama Tuggar and the Nigerian ambassador to Italy, Mfawa Abam, to resolve the matter.
Enoh made this known on his X account on Thursday, adding that he also contacted Nigerian celebrated athlete, Tobi Amusan, last week.
“Over the past weekend, the news coming out of Napoli concerning Super Eagles player -Victor Osimhen saddened me greatly. The travails of Tobi Amusan have been no less so—the reason I made efforts to reach her directly last week,” Enoh wrote.
“My office is trying to reach Victor Osimhen directly as well to understand first-hand the issues. We are committed to establishing the facts of the matter.
“Meanwhile, I am in touch with the Honorable Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar and the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Italy, Ambassador Mfawa Abam.
“Together, we are employing Diplomatic avenues with Italy for a more proper approach to looking into the matter as it is.
“Under the present administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, we are committed to ensuring our sportsmen and women are accorded the respect they deserve and are not exposed to any injustice.
“Upon assumption of office, I made it abundantly clear, in words and deeds, that the welfare of our athletes, be they home-based or international-based, would be our topmost priority as we create the environment that enables and ensures their continued success.”