Nigerian coach risks 5-match ban over Malawi coach Saintfiet racism remarks

Nigeria’s Super Eagles Coach, Stephen Keshi, risks being banned for at least five matches organized by the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) if found guilty of the racism case leveled against him by Malawi Coach, Tom Saintfiet.

The development comes following FIFA’s resolution at the end of its Congress held in Port Louis, Mauritius, where it agreed to mete out tougher sanctions on those found guilty in cases of racism.

The Super Eagles handler called Saintfiet “a white dude who should go back to Belgium”, remarks that angered the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to report him to FIFA on his behalf.

And FIFA has already confirmed receiving an official complaint from FAM over Keshi’s remarks against Sainfiet but said will comment at an appropriate time.

Malawi coach Tom Saintfiet reported  Keshi to FIFA after the Nigeria coach reportedly called him “a white dude who should go back to Belgium.”
Malawi coach Tom Saintfiet reported Keshi to FIFA after the Nigeria coach reportedly called him “a white dude who should go back to Belgium.”

But at its Mauritius’ congress, FIFA delegates voted overwhelmingly in favour of the resolution, with 204 votes for and just one against it.

“For a first infraction or a minor infraction, a warning, fine and/or ordering to play games behind closed doors should be sufficient punishment,” read a text by a FIFA task force against racism.

“For a repeat offence or a serious infraction, the deduction of points, exclusion from a competition or relegation are the recommended punishments,” added the resolution.

“Any person [player, official, referee etc…] committing an infraction should be suspended for at least five matches, including being banned from entering a stadium.”

Meanwhile, with just few hours before Flames come face to face with Super Eagles, some overzealous Nigerians claim Saintfiet is aiming at distracting their coach from concentrating on the crucial game this Saturday.

The Nigeria’s Federation of Public Service Games (FEPSGA) has since cautioned the Keshi-led team not to be distracted by the antics being employed by the Malawi coach.

But the FEPSGA President Victor Orji claim Keshi’s remarks had no racism element and Malawi was only trying to make an issue out of nothing.

“Keshi should not to allow such unnecessary utterances to affect him and team in the field of play. These are some antics of the game. They want to get a win in Calabar, which they know is impossible and the only way to go about it is to cause distraction for the team and prevent them from concentrating on the match. But I am convinced that Keshi and his technical crew understands this and will not allow it affect their game,” Orji told Nigeria’s This Day newspaper.

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