The stand-off between Flames coach Tom Saintfiet and his Nigerian counterpart Stephen Keshi has worsened with the former accusing the Super Eagles mentor of racism.
Saintfiet has since said he will report Keshi to Fifa for calling him “a white dude who should go back to Belgium.”
However, soccer commentator and ex-FAM general secretary Charles Nyirenda has urged Saintfiet to slow down, saying the situation has the potential to create unnecessary tension in the countdown to the make-or-break 2014 World Cup showdown between Nigeria and the Flames slated for Calabar on September 7.
Saintfiet and Keshi have been involved in a verbal tirade since Football Association of Malawi (FAM) asked Fifa to consider shifting the venue of the match from Calabar for safety reasons.
Saintfiet told BBC: “It is unacceptable that any person says these words, it is clear racism. It is 100 percent sure that my lawyers will lodge a complaint to Fifa.”
Saintfiet told the local media at the time that he was concerned about security, claiming “The UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office says it is a no-go area.”
Keshi hit back shortly afterwards 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. I have never used words like these to any coach. He has no right. Who is he?”
In response, Saintfiet told BBC that he was shocked by Keshi’s comments and believes the words could lead to trouble at the qualifier.
“These words create hate and aggression and a risk ahead of the match in Calabar. These comments are unacceptable and I am very sad about them.
“If Fifa takes racism seriously, then it has to be in both directions. If a European said something of this nature about an African, you would have a huge problem,” said Saintfiet.
However, Nyirenda said it is surprising that the issue that FAM raised regarding the safety of the venue has become personal between the two coaches.
“This issue has nothing to do with a coach. Why is he [Saintfiet] creating unnecessary tension by responding to Keshi’soutbursts?” said Nyirenda.