Roberto Mancini Defends Child For Dressing Like Victor Osimhen in Italian Carnival


    The manager of Italy national team, Roberto Mancini took to the defense of children dressing and ‘blacking up’ as Victor Osimhen in carnival week in Naples.

    The Italy carnival always witness children, teenagers, and adults stepping out with the outfits of their favorite stars and models.

    The 2023 edition of the event which took place in Naples saw some children decide to appear as Serie A top and prolific striker Victor Osimhen.

    The children were drapped and adorned with a tyipcal Victor Osimhen Napoli outfit, wearing the Serie shirt, and boots with black protective gear.

    However, the move by the children was greeted with a barrage of negative remarks tinged with racist undertones.

    A Nigeria-born Neapolitan writer Sabrina Efionayi took to social media to blast parents for allowing their children use blackface during the carnival.

    Despite understanding why the young fans wanted to dress up in such a way, Efionayi felt it was alarming that Italians do not understand why ‘blacking up’ is offensive.

    Roberto Mancini Victor Osimhen
    A child blacks up as Victor Osimhen to Italy carnival

    Efionayi said every time a player with black skin excels in a team, she is always angered over how people think he should be celebrated.

    She cited instances children had painted their face black to show solidarity with Koulibaly, and have now repeated same, ‘blacking up’ to honour Victor Osimhen during the carnival.

    Efionayi added such moves by the children give her goosebumps and does not show any respect to the player.

    Reacting to Efionayi, Roberto Mancini debunked the writer’s criticisms, defended the children, and posted images of the childen in Victor Osimhen’s kit on his Instagram page.

    In the words of the Italian boss and former Manchester City manager, written in Italian, Mancini asserts he sees wonder where others see nunaces of racism.

    He also added football and generally sports should embrace inclusion and eschew discriminatory tendencies.

    ”Where some see racism, I see only wonder. Sport is inclusion and you kids are giants,” he said.

    Racism in Italian football

    Racism is global problem that has plagued football, sports, and heavily felt on nearly all facets of life.

    Just like other European football associations, Italian football has been mired with incidents of racism, targeting mainly black players.

    In 2019, Serie A suffered heavy backlash when they led an anti-racism campaign with paintings of three monkeys.

    Moreover, black players have been constant target of racial slurs and abuse for the past years. Lazio fans reportedly directed racist chants on Kessie and Bakayoko in 2021 during a Serie A clash.

    In the other top five leagues in Europe, including UEFA competitions, football administrators have find it difficult kicking out racism.

    Recently, Spanish Agents Association President Pedro Bravo was criticised for his racial remarks on Real Madrid star Vinicius when he scolded the Brazilian for ‘playing monkey’ each time he scores against opponents.

    Roberto Mancini Victor Osimhen
    Victor Osimhen

    Roberto Mancini’s thoughts on Efionayi’s cricicism of children ‘blacking up’ as Victor Osimhen delineates the manager’s belief children are innocent and should not be dragged into the conversation on racial abuse.

    He also reiterated his unyielding stand racism should be gotten rid off in football for a more inclusive game.

    Victor Osimhen has been in top shape for Napoli this season. He has scored 20 goals in 24 games for the Serie A side.


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