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Napoli's Osimhen defends Iwobi, emphasizing shared humanity against bullies

Posted : 14 February 2024

Napoli striker Victor Osimhen has called on Nigerians to refrain from cyberbullying Alex Iwobi and other Super Eagles players following the team's journey at the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

Despite the Super Eagles' impressive performance in reaching the final, where they were defeated by hosts Cote d'Ivoire, social media influencers and online trolls targeted Iwobi for perceived underperformance, leading him to delete his Instagram posts. Unconfirmed reports even suggested he was contemplating retiring from international football.

Fulham star Iwobi received substantial support from teammates, with Osimhen urging bullies to stop, emphasizing that players are human and prone to mistakes.

“I urge Nigerians that cyberbullying is bad because we are also humans,” Osimhen stated in Abuja on Tuesday. “Sometimes we make mistakes. Sometimes, we have a good game, and we’ll get the hype. But of course, when you criticize, you have to be constructive when doing this type of things."

Regarding the intense scrutiny on Iwobi, Osimhen expressed concern for mental health, emphasizing the potential impact on individual players. He highlighted the team's collective support for Iwobi, both individually and as a group.

Following their AFCON campaign, the Super Eagles returned to Nigeria and were received by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the State House in Abuja. Most players were awarded the national honor of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), while Ahmed Musa and Kenneth Omeruo received the Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON), having previously earned MON awards in 2013.


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