Proud friend of IsraelI didn't see anyone on the team pull out a Turkish, British, or Italian flag.
During Ghana's celebration of its second goal against the Czech Republic today, one of its players, fullback John Pantsil, pulled a small Israeli flag from underneath his uniform and held it up. He also waved the Israeli flag during the post-match celebration.
Pantsil plays in Israel for Hapoel Tel Aviv. But nearly every starter for Ghana plays in a foreign country. I didn't see anyone on the team pull out a Turkish, British, or Italian flag.
Given the political leanings of FIFA, the international soccer federation, Pantsil will be lucky to avoid being disciplined for his politically incorrect celebration.
UPDATE: Several readers have commented about the display of the Israeli flag. One of them, Ken Potter, sent me the link to the Jerusalem Post's story, "From Ghana With Love." According to the JPost, sources at Pantsil's Israeli club say that the Ghanaian fullback had promised to show Israel's flag if his team scored in the World Cup.
True, but then again no other country is put under the microscope--or kassams and katyushas--the way Israel is either.
Little Green Footballs has an update on the story--and we should have seen it coming: Ghana Apologizes For Israeli Flag:
Ghana's Football Association on Monday apologized after Israel-based defender John Pantsil pulled out an Israeli flag during celebrations for Saturday's 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic.Pitiful.
"It was an action out of naivety and we apologize to anyone who was offended. It will never happen again," Ghana FA spokesman Randy Abbey said.
"He was obviously unaware of the implications of what he did ... He's extremely popular in Israel and he wanted to thank the fans who traveled to see him play," Abbey said.
Pantsil, 25, plays for Hapoel Tel Aviv. He pulled out a small Israeli flag during a goal celebration at Cologne Stadium.
Abbey said that there had been complaints to the Ghana FA but did not elaborate.
"We're not here for politics ... We don't support Israel or Arab nations ... It was unfortunate that the player was ignorant about the political situation." [Of course, Pantsil didn't show the Israeli flag for political reasons and the only politics are the creation of Ghana and those who pressured it]
Abbey added: "But he has apologized to us and I think the matter should end there."
Crossposted at Israpundit