Victor Osimhen in Racism Row as Mancini Defends Kids Wearing Black Faces to Celebrate Striker

Prior to Criticism and Racist chants by Italian fans on black players in recent years, opinions have been divided amongst supporters and some sets of the public about Nigerian international and Napoli forward Victor Osimhen this week.

It happened in Naples, some children dressed up as Napoli striker Victor Osimhen and had their faces painted black at the ongoing carnival week in the city with many seen putting on Sporting costumes, masks and capes both adults and children traditionally attend the carnival dressed as one of their heroes and this year several children chose to embody Osimhen, who has netted 20 goals in 24 matches for Napoli this season.

As one of those opposed to it, Neapolitan writer Sabrina Efionayi, who, like Osimhen, is of Nigerian descent, took to social media to disagree with the parents of the kids who were wearing Osimhen’s costume, explaining the racist story behind the blackface.

“It was a very disturbing image” because “not only did he have a Napoli shirt with the player’s name and blond hair, but his skin,” she said.

“There’s a very fine line between celebrating an idol and making a pretty big gaffe among Black people.” She added.

In response to Sabrina Efionayi’s post, Manager of the Italian national team Roberto Mancini has defended the act as inclusive and wonderful through a post on his Instagram handle on Thursday.

Mancini defended the parents and children, insisting that ‘where some see racism, I see only wonder’.

The 58-year-old manager who won Euro 2020 with Italy after beating England on penalties in the final, added: ‘Sport is inclusion and you kids are giants!’

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