There’s no apology…Naples Announces Official ‘Statement’ On Controversy Over ‘Mockery Of Osimen’ “There Was No Intention Of Joking”
Napoli have released a statement addressing the Victor Osimhen taunting controversy.
In the 2022-23 season, Napoli accomplished a great feat. They won the Scudetto, which seemed unlikely going into the season, but they maintained their momentum from the opening game until the end of the season. The title was clinched with five games left in the league and they were able to end the campaign on a high note. The first Scudetto in 33 years, since the 1989-90 season with Diego Maradona. Fans, players, and everyone involved were ecstatic.
There were many players to thank for this. Hvitsa Kvaradzehelia, who came from Georgia to become a sensation; Victor Osimhen, who hadn’t lived up to his transfer fee for two seasons before reaching a “career high” and becoming one of the best strikers in the world; and Kim Min-jae, who has gone beyond Italy to become one of the best center backs in the world. In addition, Stanislaw Lobotka and Giovanni Di Lorenzo did their part.
Osimhen was at the center of it all. After rising through the Belgian and French leagues, he arrived in the Italian Serie A in 2020 for a staggering €75 million (approx. KRW 107 billion). With that kind of money, Osimhen was given a lot of opportunities, and in his first two seasons, he made over 60 appearances, leading Napoli’s attack.
However, it was not enough. While he scored double-digit league goals in both seasons, he was never overwhelming. It wasn’t bad, but with so much money invested in him, Napoli wanted more from him.
Then last season, Poten broke out. After a somewhat disappointing last two years, where his price tag was considered too high for his performance, he was arguably the best striker in the world, scoring 26 goals in the league alone in the 2022-23 season. At the end of the season, he was named Serie A’s best striker.
Not surprisingly, he was on the radar of many clubs. Manchester United, Newcastle United, Liverpool, and Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) have all been mentioned as possible suitors as they look to bolster their attack.
Saudi Arabia, who were active in the summer transfer window, have also expressed interest in Osimhen. According to Loic Tanji of French outlet L’Equipe, Al-Hilal, who failed to sign Kylian Mbappe, will launch a bid for Osimhen.
Napoli’s stance was, unsurprisingly, ‘not for sale’. They wanted to keep the momentum going into the new season and wanted to keep their mainstays like Osimhen and Kvarachelia. The need to keep Osimhen is even greater now that the departure of Kim Min-jae, a key part of the defense, has been confirmed.
President Aurelio De Laurentiis revealed the amount of money needed to sign Osimhen. It was an astronomical amount. It was a no-sell. “De Laurentiis has revealed that any club wanting to sign Osimhen this summer will have to pay £170 million ($285 million),” according to the Mirror.
Napoli then attempted to re-sign Osimhen, with the first meeting ending in failure, but the club persisted. While nothing is “official” yet, many sources have predicted that Osimhen has a future with Napoli. Italian journalist Niccolò Skira wrote on social media, “Osimhen’s contract extension with Napoli is imminent. The contract runs until 2027. A meeting will take place in the next few days and the new contract will include a buyout clause.” The player’s contract is set to run until 2027, with a base salary of €6.5 million plus bonuses.
So, he’s staying at Napoli for the new season. In the absence of Kim Min-jae, his importance has become even greater, and so far he has lived up to the hype. In seven games, including cup competitions, he has scored four goals and is second on the team’s scoring charts.
Defending champions Napoli, however, have been in a bit of a slump. After a 3-1 win over Frosinone in the league opener, Napoli got off to a good start with a 2-0 win over Sassuolo in the second round. However, subsequent draws against Lazio and Genoa left them without a point and away from the top of the table. Fortunately, a 2-1 win over Braga in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League (UCL) group stage ended their winless run and they were looking to continue that trend in the league.
That’s how Napoli met Bologna in the fifth round of the league. Given the difference in objective power, a win was expected. In fact, the game itself was dominated by Napoli. According to soccer stats site Fúscore, Napoli had 50.9% possession and pressured Bologna with 12 shots on goal in 90 minutes. However, no goals were scored. A lack of finishing touches prevented goals from being scored and ‘Ace’ Osimhen was unlucky to miss a penalty.
There was even a controversial moment. In the 41st minute of the second half, Rudi Garcia took off Osimhen and Stanislav Lobotka in favor of Giovanni Simeone and Jens Kjaerste, but Osimhen didn’t like the decision. As he walked off the field, Osimhen shouted at Garcia and made a “2” gesture with his hand. Local speculation is that Osimhen made the gesture because he thought it would be more effective to play two strikers without him in a goal-scoring situation.
The situation sparked speculation of a rift between Osimhen and the coach. Garcia later commented on the situation, saying, “Missing a penalty is something that happens to the greatest players in history. I spoke to him about the substitution. The conversation between me and him remains in the locker room. I’m not happy with the players’ performance. But we have a lot of players and we had to use them,” he said, trying to dismiss rumors of discord.
That seemed to put the matter to rest. But then, a bigger controversy arose. Napoli posted a video on their official account that appeared to mock Osimhen, and the controversy escalated when they posted a video that appeared to be racist.메이저사이트
Many fans were outraged at the absurdity of a club mocking their own player. Osimhen’s agent was also furious. According to European soccer transfer market expert Fabrizio Romano, his agent Roberto Calenda said, “What happened today on Napoli’s official social media is unacceptable. A video mocking Osimhen was posted and then deleted. This has caused serious damage to the player. We reserve the right to do whatever is necessary, including legal action.”
Despite being caught up in an unsavory incident, Osimen remained professional. He started the last game against Udinese as a frontline striker and scored the winning goal in the 39th minute of the game with his team leading 1-0.
But the emotions weren’t entirely muted. After scoring, Osimhen made no obvious gestures. His Napoli teammates approached him, but there was no change in his expression or behavior, and he didn’t take the penalty from the spot, despite being Napoli’s official penalty kicker. This behavior was even more noteworthy because it came right after the feud.
As the situation escalated, Napoli released an official statement to quell the controversy. According to Romano, the official statement read as follows
“Napoli wishes to avoid this issue being exploited and would like to make it known that it was never our intention to offend or mock Osimhen, a treasure of the club. As proof, during the summer training period, we firmly rejected all offers for his transfer. Social media, and TikTok in particular, has always used a mild form of verbal expression. There was never any intention to mock Osimhen. In any case, if Osimhen felt offended, it indicates that this was not the intention of the club.”
However, fans were not convinced by Napoli’s explanation. The club’s defense is that they didn’t intend to mock. There was no message of apology directed at Osimhen. “He never says he’s sorry,” “He refused to apologize,” “He’s wasting his career,” “Instead of saying he’s sorry, he’s defending himself,” and so on.
Meanwhile, Osimen’s transfer rumors, which had been quieted, have resurfaced. “After the TikTok video debacle, Saudi clubs are expected to approach him in the January transfer window,” the Daily Mail reported. Chelsea and Real Madrid are also monitoring the situation.”