The world football governing body Federation of International Football Associations has waded into the claim by the Football Association of Malawi that the Nigerian coach Stephen Keshi racially assaulted Malawi-Belgian coach Tom Saintfiet.
FIFA spoke to BBC spot, saying: “Please understand that we cannot comment any further at this stage”.
The Malawi federation said it reported the matter to FIFA to defend its Belgian coach Tom Sainfiet from remarks by Keshi.
“We feel the racist remarks by Mr. Keshi are not acceptable,” Fam’s general secretary Suzgo Nyirenda told BBC Sport.
“We thought it was a personal attack on our coach and we had to defend him regardless of skin. We felt we should help our coach and at the same time put a stop to the racist remarks from Mr Keshi. We have sent evidence of what Keshi said and we hope FIFA will come up with some measures to control Mr Keshi.”
Meanwhile, Keshi was quoted to have reacted angrily to Malawi’s calls to shift the 2014 World Cup qualifier between the two nations from the city of Calabar on security grounds, describing the Belgian coach as “a white dude”.
In a phone interview aired on UK-based African television show, Keshi was quoted as saying, “I think the coach of Malawi is crazy. 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.”
But in defence of his comments on Sainfiet, last Monday, Keshi told Supersport, “I was just standing up for my country when someone tries to make insinuations that it is not a safe place. I have nothing against Sainfelt, he was in Nigeria recently and we shook hands and had a few things we discussed. I just was very unhappy that a man who last year was prepared to work for and in Nigeria with a four year contract can all of a sudden start to describe the place as ‘unsafe’ so am not having that.”
“I am not interested in all those sorts of things; my first aim is always to defend my country on and off the pitch. It was not a personal attack on the person of Sainfelt, it is unfortunate that it has come across like that, but this is my default mode of defending Nigeria.”