Minister of Sports Development, Senator John Owan-Enoh, expressed his unwavering dedication to ensuring that Nigerian athletes receive the respect they deserve and are not subjected to discrimination.
The minister made this declaration in Abuja on Thursday, responding to a video on Napoli’s official TikTok account that seemed to ridicule Super Eagles forward Victor Osimhen for missing a penalty.
Osimhen’s penalty miss occurred during Napoli’s recent Serie A match against Bologna, which ended in a 0-0 draw. Subsequently, Osimhen threatened legal action against Napoli FC for the post, though it has since been removed.
Minister Owan-Enoh conveyed his distress over the incident and conveyed his commitment to exploring measures to guarantee that Nigerian athletes are consistently treated with dignity. He also expressed his determination to mobilize support for athletes like Osimhen and Tobi Amusan who may require encouragement.
“Over the past weekend, the developments that came out of Napoli as it pertains Super Eagles forward, Victor Osimhen, saddened me greatly.
“The travails of Tobi Amusan have been no less so. This necessitated why, last week, I made efforts to reach her directly.
“Moreso, my office is making efforts to reach Victor Osimhen directly as well, so as to understand first hand what the issues are.
“We are committed to establishing the facts of the matter,” he said.
Owan-Enoh mentioned that his department is in close collaboration with the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Nigerian Ambassador to Italy, and various relevant parties to seek a diplomatic solution to the matter.
“I am also in touch with the Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E. Yusuf Maitama Tuggar, as well as the Nigerian Ambassador to the Republic of Italy, Ambassador Mfawa Abam.
“Together, we are employing diplomatic avenues with Italy for a more decorous approach in looking into the matter as it is,” he said.
The minister affirmed that under the leadership of Tinubu, the administration would persist in guaranteeing that Nigerian athletes receive the respect they are entitled to and are shielded from injustice and discrimination.
“Upon assumption of office, I made it abundantly clear, in words and deeds that the welfare of our athletes, be they home-based or foreign-based, would be our topmost priority, as we create the environment that enables and ensures their continued success,” he added.
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