Not content with creating a puzzle over his mis-spelt names, Ghana defender John Pantsil has now sparked the mystery of the missing sleeve.
The 29-year-old defender had his family name spelt incorrectly — on the back of his own shirt — in Ghana’s opening Group D game against Australia in Pretoria on June 13.
On that afternoon, his shirt was wrongly emblazoned with “PANSTIL”, instead of “PANTSIL”.
This minor inaccuracy was of little embarrassment to the Fulham defender, however, because his real family name is Paintsil.
He lost that when his birth certificate was filled in wrongly, a mistake that was endorsed when he was issued with a Ghanaian passport.
“When I went to England, the Premier League had to register me as Pantsil, spelt that way, and I had to get used to it — the wrong name on my shirt,” he explained before the finals began.
“It was because of my passport.”
Now he has started a new guessing game — by going out to play for Ghana at the World Cup finals with one long sleeve, his right, and one short sleeve, his left.
It is a mystery that has remained unexplained, according to Ghana’s spokesman Randy Abbey.
Asked if he knew why Pantsil had done this, he said: “I don’t know, but he just cuts one sleeve off. and he likes to play like that.
“It is strange, yes, but I have never found out why. I think he just likes it.”