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On Nigeria’s Independence Day, Osimhen strikes peace with Napoli



Napoli's social media executive, Alessio Fortino who stepped down for peace to reign

After almost 10 days of face-off between Super Eagles forward, Victor Osimhen and the Napoli FC officials, there is truce in the air following the message from Osimhen, on Sunday, Nigeria’s 63rd Independence Day Celebration.

Osimhen broke his silence on the controversial videos posted on the club’s official TikTok account that appeared to openly mock him.

Osimhen was the subject of two offensive clips shared on the popular social media app, with the first seemingly deriding him for missing a penalty late last month.

The second then labelled him a ‘coconut’ and has been viewed as a racial slur.

His agent threatened to sue the Serie A side in the wake of the fallout and Napoli responded by insisting that no offence was intended, though they did not apologise.


Napoli’s social media executive has since stepped down from his role.

Osimhen, however, has called for unity and thanked supporters for their kindness.

A statement released on Sunday afternoon said: ‘Coming to the city of Naples in 2020 was a wonderful decision for me.

“The people of Napoli have shown me so much love and kindness, and I will not allow anyone to come between us.

‘The passion of the people of Naples fuels my fire to always play with my heart and soul, and the love for the badge is unwavering as I wear it with pride.


‘The accusations against people of Naples are untrue. I have a lot of friends that are Napolitans and have become part of my family and everyday life. I appreciate Nigerians and everyone for leading their voices to support and reach out to me.

‘I’m forever grateful. Let’s support unity, respect and understanding. FORZA NAPOLI SEMPRE.’

The 24-year-old reacted to the incident by deleting all but one reference to Napoli on his social media accounts and again refused to take a penalty at the weekend.

Osimhen received a private apology from Napoli directors on Wednesday but is upset they did not make amends publically, according to Corriere dello Sport.



Kunle Solaja is the author of landmark books on sports and journalism as well as being a multiple award-winning journalist and editor of long standing. He is easily Nigeria’s foremost soccer diarist and Africa's most capped FIFA World Cup journalist, having attended all FIFA World Cup finals from Italia ’90 to Qatar 2022. He was honoured at the Qatar 2022 World Cup by FIFA and AIPS.

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