Coach Saintfiet’s footballing antics

For the past few weeks, my attention has been drawn to the unlikely allegation of racism by the erstwhile Malawian national football coach, Tom Saintfiet against his Nigerian counterpart, Stephen Keshi. The former Malawian coach has further accused the Nigerian coach of being a serial racist. It must be noted that all these allegations were made prior to the September 7 World Cup qualifier between the two countries, Nigeria and Malawi.
Coach Stephen Keshi was alleged to have called Saintfiet ‘’ a white dude who should go back to Belgium.’’ I laugh because I wonder why this would now be termed a racist statement as the former Italy World Cup winning coach, Marcello Lippi, said publicly recently that foreigners are too many in Serie A & that it would affect real Italian youngsters. Yet nobody raised eyebrows then even as that was similar to what coach Keshi was trying to point out. If Marcello Lippi was doing the right thing so was Stephen Keshi! What’s good for the goose is good for the gander!
It must be further noted that these claims were coming from the mouth of a man who at a time last year was denied the chance to coach the Nigerian national football team, the Super Eagles. This man clearly is trying to vent all his anger on the Nigerian coach, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF), and the country as a whole. This shenanigan in person of coach Tom Saintfiet wanted to win at all cost so as to prove a point to the NFF who decided to employ Keshi in his stead, in a sudden change of plans. Saintfiet would use any antic just to disorganize the Nigerian team. This was a coach who was reported in June to be collecting a huge sum of 10,000 dollars as winning bonus while his players collected a meager sum of 85 dollars!
Imagine the same Saintfiet revealing after the match on Saturday he had no further contract with Malawi. He was even candid when he told journalists, ‘I waited this long to see if I could get a win against Nigeria and make a loud claim. As it is, it has not happened.’ Imagine such a man. This man is a joke. He has further sent a petition to FIFA to buttress his claims. I hope the NFF and coach Stephen Keshi file all of Saintfiet’s public comments before and after the match in their defence. This Sainfiet is really full of antics and I hope he gets fined after losing his case at the FIFA disciplinary committee seating. This man is a do-or-die coach who should be banned for some months so he could go back and learn that in the game of football, there must be a winner and a loser.
The former Malawian head coach has even confessed that he was actually agitated prior to the match on Saturday as ‘it was the dream of any coach to beat a champion.’ Then must you try to win by unscrupulous means? Again, why was he only being truthful after losing? Was his intent only to play mind games? Whatever his reasons are for his allegations and actions, he got it all wrong because nobody succeeds in blackmailing Nigeria or any part of it, not even its football team!


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