Monday, June 19, 2006

Why is this a story?

I'm very confused. What if he played for Manchester United and waved a British flag? Would they feel it was a slight to Northern Irish Catholics?

WUERZBURG, Germany (Reuters) -- Ghana officials apologized on Monday after defender John Paintsil waved an Israeli flag to celebrate their 2-0 World Cup win against the Czech Republic.

Team spokesman Randy Abbey said it was important to point out that the Ghanaian FA was not trying to take sides in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

Paintsil plays for Hapoel Tel Aviv and had wanted to acknowledge the Israeli fans who had travelled to Germany to support him, Abbey said.

"He is obviously unaware of the implications of what he did. He's unaware of international politics. We apologise to anybody who was offended and we promise that it will never happen again.

"He did not act out of malice for the Arab people or in support of Israel. He was naive... we don't need to punish him."

Paintsil celebrated the two Ghana goals on Saturday by taking out a small Israeli flag from his sock and waving it above his head.

Abbey said neither the Ghanaian FA nor Ghana as a country had a strong political position on the subject and said they were just in Germany for the World Cup.

"We are not in support or against Israel or the Arab nations. We are here to do football, we are not here to do politics."


Blogger Ezzie said...

Want the honest answer? Because lots of people hate Jews & Israel.

(Curious if you think I'm wrong.)

1:09 AM  
Blogger copy editor said...

I think you are right. This shows that sentiment in its naked excess.

1:11 AM  

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