Nigeria’s Sports Minister, John Owan Enoh, has stated that his country is exploring diplomatic options with Italy in response to Napoli’s mocking of Nigerian footballer Victor Osimhen.
Mr Enoh said on Thursday that the news of Napoli mocking the 24-year-old striker, who also plays for Nigeria’s national team, had “saddened” him.
On their TikTok account, the club posted a video of Osimhen missing a penalty, which was dubbed with a high-pitched voice saying “gimme penalty please.”
After a backlash, the club deleted the post, 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”.