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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Egypt: Ghanian soccer player a Mossad agent

On Saturday, Ghanian defender John Pantsil - who plays for HaPoel Tel Aviv - celebrated a goal against the Czech Republic by waving an Israeli flag. This was widely covered on the net and in the mainstream media. Yesterday, the Ghanian Football Association 'apologized' to 'anyone who was offended.'
“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.
Abbey said that there had been complaints to the Football Association, but did not elaborate.

This morning, it turns out that the complaints come from the third largest recipient of US foreign aid, a country that has a 'peace treaty' with Israel. That country is Egypt of course (Iraq pushed them from second to third place in the foreign aid race this year). Egypt has accused Pantsil of being - guess what - a Mossad agent:
"The ignorant and stupid Paintsil, who spent 20 days in Egypt during the last African Nations Cup, plays for Hapoel," sports commentator Alaa Sadek wrote in the daily Al-Akhbar, explaining to baffled Egyptian audiences Painstil's link to Israel.

"Egyptians supported the Ghanaian team all the way until the 82nd minute, and regretted it after the Israeli flag (waving)," screamed a bold red headline in the independent daily Al-Masry al-Yom Monday.

"As soon as the referee blew his whistle to start the match, Egyptians were out enthusiastically, almost hysterically supporting Ghana, until defender John Paintsil took out the Israeli flag," read the paper's front page article.

The live commentator on the Arab satellite channel broadcasting all World Cup matches in the region abruptly cut short his trademark "goooaaaaaaal" when Paintsil brought out the flag.

"What are you doing, man?" the bewildered commentator said.


The main question on Egyptian lips after the match was "why?"

Some papers described Paintsil as a "Mossad agent", others said "an Israeli had paid him to do it" but the most elaborate theory was offered by the top-selling state-owned daily Al-Ahram.

"The real reason," sports analyst Hassan el-Mestekawi wrote, stems from the fact that many Ghanaian players go through football training camps set up by an Israeli coach who "discovered the treasure of African talent, and abused the poverty of the continent's children" with the ultimate goal of selling them off to European clubs.

"The training program for these children starts every morning with a salute to the Israeli flag," Mestekawi claimed.

Another party apparently upset by Pantil's act was FIFA - the world soccer governing body.
FIFA said they had taken note of the flag-waving and that although there was nothing in the rules to prevent it, they hoped not to see a repetition.
What do you expect from the people who considered sanctioning Israel for bombing an empty soccer field in Gaza that was being used to fire Kassams (and eventually financed the stadium repair)? I wonder what would have happened if someone had waved a 'Palestinian' flag.

Oh yes, in case you were wondering the Egyptians did not qualify for the World Cup. I guess that Israeli coach didn't kidnap enough Egyptian kids.


At 1:47 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...


The story disgusts me. I wrote about the double standards in Israel on my own blog.


At 1:48 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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