Italian club Napoli deny 'mocking' striker after official account posts clip of missed penalty

28 September 2023, 18:31

Napoli forward Victor Osimhen
Napoli forward Victor Osimhen. Picture: Getty/TikTok
Kieran Kelly

By Kieran Kelly

Italian football club Napoli have denied mocking their striker Victor Osimhen after its official TikTok account posted a video of him missing a penalty.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

Footage posted on Napoli's TikTok account started with Osimhen pleading with the referee for a penalty after claiming the opposition player had committed handball.

The clip then showed Osimhen missing the penalty in Sunday's goalless draw against Bologna.

He is widely considered to be one of the best strikers in Italy's Serie A, which Napoli won last year, having scored 62 goals in 107 appearances for the club.

The footage caused outrage online, with many sports fans confused about why a club would mock their own player.

Napoli played again on Wednesday, with Osimhen scoring as his team beat Udinese 4-1.

Read More: Sports Secretary stumbles over who England could face in Rugby World Cup quarter final

Read More: Marcus Rashford 'rushed to help grandmother after car crash' as witness describes debris scattered over the road

Footage also emerged on Thursday showing the striker appearing to refuse to acknowledge some of his own teammates as he arrived for training.

The club has now released a statement, insisting it had not intended to "insult or deride" their player.

Osimhen scored on Wednesday after the TikTok incident
Osimhen scored on Wednesday after the TikTok incident. Picture: Getty

“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," a spokesperson for 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”.