[QODLink]
Football

Malawi report Keshi to FIFA for racism

After Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi calls Tom Sainfiet crazy and 'a white dude', the Malawi FA makes a complaint.

Last Modified: 27 Aug 2013 20:46
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Keshi lashed out at Malawi coach Tom Saintfiet (pictured) after he raised doubts over safety of Calabar [Reuters]

Nigeria's African Cup-winning coach Stephen Keshi has been reported to FIFA for racism after he called Malawi's coach crazy and 'a white dude' who should go back to his native Belgium.

Tom Saintfiet said on Tuesday that the Football Association of Malawi had made the complaint to the world body on his behalf and they were 'waiting for FIFA's response.'

"I have no expectation from FIFA but the world football governing body has rules on racism,'' Malawi coach Saintfiet said.

"It's up to FIFA to decide."

If FIFA takes racism seriously, then you have to take it seriously in
both directions

Tom Saintfiet, Malawi coach

The row began when Saintfiet expressed safety concerns over Nigeria's southern city of Calabar, the venue for a decisive World Cup qualifier between the countries next month.

Saintfiet was citing a British Foreign and Commonwealth Office advisory that described Calabar as a no-travel area because of fears of terrorism and violent crime. Malawi requested FIFA move the game.

In response to Saintfiet's doubts over Calabar, Keshi reportedly said on an African TV show that the Malawi coach, who has previously worked with the Namibia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia and Nigeria national teams, didn't know about Africa because he was white.

"If he wants to talk to FIFA, he should go back to Belgium. He is not an African person, he is a white dude. He should go back to Belgium,'' Keshi said.

"All other countries play in Calabar. Calabar is one of the safest places in Nigeria... He is mad. I wish I could say it to his face."

Malawi needs to win the game to knock the African champion out of World Cup qualifying and progress to the final playoffs for Brazil 2014.

FIFA toughened its punishments for racism at its recent annual conference in Mauritius in May after incidents in England and Italy where black players were targeted, but a white coach accusing a black coach of racism is rare.

"If FIFA takes racism seriously, then you have to take it seriously in both directions,'' Saintfiet, who is coaching Malawi on a voluntary basis and does not earn a salary, told the BBC.

"If a European said something of this nature about an African, you would have a huge problem. I am against racism in all directions."

Saintfiet also continued to cast doubt on the safety of Calabar after the Nigeria Football Federation gave FIFA a written guarantee that the September 7 match would be secure. The NFF said the teams and match officials would be accompanied by police escorts and bomb squads would be deployed at hotels, training grounds and the 12,000-seat stadium.

"If they have to provide anti-bomb squads that means there is a problem," Saintfiet said.

452

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Italy struggles to deal with growing flood of migrants willing to risk their lives to reach the nearest European shores.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Featured
A handful of agencies that provide tours to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea say business is growing.
A political power struggle masquerading as religious strife grips Nigeria - with mixed-faith couples paying the price.
The current surge in undocumented child migrants from Central America has galvanized US anti-immigration groups.
Absenteeism among doctors at government hospitals is rife, prompting innovative efforts to ensure they turn up for work.
Marginalised and jobless, desperate young men in Nairobi slums provide fertile ground for al-Shabab.
join our mailing list