Ghana apologizes for Israeli flag waving

"It was an action out of naivete...we're not at the World Cup for politics."

June 20, 2006 02:50
Ghana apologizes for Israeli flag waving

John Pantsil 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

Ghana's Football Association apologized on Monday after John Pantsil, who plays for Hapoel Tel Aviv, pulled out an Israeli flag during Saturday's 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic. "It was an action out of naivete 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, pulled out a small Israeli flag from his sock during goal celebrations 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." Abbey added: "But he has apologized to us and I think the matter should end there."

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