Former Black Stars right back John Painstil has opened the lid on his controversial Israel flag celebration at the FIFA World Cup in Germany 2006.
The defender pulled out an Israel flag to join in celebrations after Ghana beat Czech Republic at the World Cup in Germany, leaving many fans criticizing the player for inciting divisiveness.
However, John Painstil revealed that it was a show of appreciation for the clubs he played for in Israel before the World Cup.
”I played for two clubs in Israeal, Hapoel Tel Aviv and Meccabi Tel Aviv, though they are rivals, when it came to the World Cup because I was part of the Ghanaian team both clubs came together with the Ghanaian flag to lead me to the airport as I was leaving for the World Cup,” he said on Kwese TV’s Home Run show. “Even in Germany they were there with the Ghanaian flag,” he added.
“So I picked the flag all the way from Israel that when I get there and things went well I will also show appreciation to them.”
An ignorant and remorseful John Panstil then added he felt unhappy after the events of his celebrations and even apologized for what he believes was a display of ignorance.
“I didn’t know it was going to hurt but I am somebody who becomes emotional if I hurt somebody but when it happened I was hurt.”
John Painstil moved to England from Israel, where he played for West Ham, Fulham and Leicester City.
The former Berekum Arsenal player is now working on attaining his coaching Licenses after a brief spell as assistant manager of South Africa side Kaizer Chiefs.