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21 juin 2006 / 00h25
- John Pantsil biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Full name John Pantsil Date of birth 15 January 1981 Place of birth ?, Ghana Height 5 ft 8 in (178 cm)
Club information
Current club Hapoel Tel Aviv
Number 15
Position Right or Left Defender/Midfielder
Youth clubs
1997–98 Berkum Arsenal
Professional clubs*
Years Club Apps (goals)
1999-2000 Hapoel Tel Aviv
Maccabi Tel Aviv
Berkum Arsenal
Liberty Professionals
Berkum Arsenal 42 (3)
46 (0)
? (?)
? (?)
? (?)
National team**
2001–present Ghana 24 (?)

* Professional club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only and
correct as of 15 June 2006.
** National team caps and goals correct
as of 20 June 2006.

John Pantsil (born June 15, 1981) is a Ghanaian international football player who is playing for Hapoel Tel-Aviv.

A player comfortable at the full back or midfield position; Pantsil moved to Israeli club Maccabi Tel-Aviv after stints in his native Ghana with Berkum Arsenal and Liberty Professionals. In 2005 he was transferred to rivals Hapoel Tel-Aviv.

A committed Christian and an honest professional; Pantsil is known to pray in the dressing room before matches.

He was part of the Ghanaian 2004 Olympic football team, who exited in the first round, having finished in third place in group B. He is currently playing for the Ghanaian national team, which has recently reached the World Cup 2006 finals. This being the Black Stars' first ever appearance in the prestigious cup competition.

On 13 May 2006, Pantsil was named in Ghana's squad for the 2006 World Cup.

Flag controversy

Following the first and second goals in Ghana's impressive 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic on 17 June 2006, he celebrated by waving an Israeli flag which he kept in his sock. The flag was a cut off a line of flags that was given to the Israeli public free by Bank Hapoalim before Israel's Independence Day celebrations. He was also seen waving the Israeli flag as the final whistle blew. This flag waving was highly protested by several in the Arab world, who saw the act as an insult directed towards the Palestinians. Some Egyptian state run newspapers described the player in question as a 'Mossad agent' or that he was paid for this [1] without providing any basis for the allegations. When the Egyptian commentator saw the flag, he stopped his yelling of "Goal" and said, "what are you doing!?!"

Before the final group match versus the USA, the Ghanian FA had John Pantsil receive psychotherapy treatment because they were worried that with all the media attention he was receiving (both negative and positive) that he would be unable to perform in the squad's most crucial match.

Pantsil, said that he simply wanted to thank the people of Israel for their support. He is even more popular in Israel as a result of his gesture and has promised to explain his actions after the World Cup.[2]

The Ghanian Football Association has since apologized for Pantsil's actions, calling them "naive" and the Ghanian foreign minister has apologized to all the Arab states on behalf of Pantsil's actions. FIFA expressed no complaint with the action.
Pantsil with the Israeli flag
Pantsil with the Israeli flag

Honors and awards

* FIFA World Youth Championship runner-up: 2001


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