Nigeria coach Stephen Keshi set up what is likely to be a flurry of mind games by tearing into his Flames counterpart Tom Saintfiet over his comments on the match venue.
Keshi told BBC that he was not amused with Saintfiet’s comments to the effect that he was not comfortable with the make-or-break 2014 World Cup qualifier to be played in Calabar describing it as a security risk.
Apparently, this did not go down well with Keshi who went to town over Saintfiet’s comments.
“The Malawi coach cannot tell us where to play our matches.
“He can say whatever he likes, that’s his own opinion and problem. And he is not qualified enough to make that call or request.
“This is where we play our games and other countries are fine with that,” said Keshi to which FAM CEO Suzgo Nyirenda strongly countered:
“He is not being honest by claiming that other countries did not have problems playing in Calabar because we have letters of protests which our Namibia and Kenya counterparts wrote to Fifa.”
Apparently Keshi went on to say: “Someone cannot tell Nigeria to take the game elsewhere [just] because he feels important.
“Please tell him [Saintfiet] that the game will take place in Calabar, he can choose not to come, we have no problem with that.”
Following FAM’s request to consider shifting the venue, Fifa asked the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) to provide letter of security guarantee from the appropriate authority in Nigeria as well as detailed security plan for the qualifying match.
NFF has since issued a press statement explaining that the country’s inspector general of police Mohammed Abubaker has dispatched detailed security for the game.