Maccabi Haifa’s Mohamed Abu Fani has become a hero to fans of his team and an internet sensation for wasting time – not without reason.
The little football star was credited with helping his team secure a crucial victory this week, not scoring a goal, but keeping the ball near the flag of the opposition corner for more than two minutes until the end of the game.
Getting the ball to corner flags is a classic tactic as teams look to turn down the clock in games, but Israel international Abu Fani turned it into an art form during Monday’s game.
In extra time, Haifa took a 3–2 lead over Maccabi Tel Aviv, with Abu Fani receiving the ball from a small corner. He managed to use his strength and skill to keep several frantic Tel Aviv players off the ball and repeated the performance several times before winning another corner.
After the ball went outside for the Haifa throw-in, Abu Fani pretended he had another corner kick, wasting many more valuable seconds, while the Tel Aviv player and even the referee called him. were disappointed.
But his teammates and fans were delighted with his artistry, clearly smiling at the display and rejoicing at the final whistle, keeping the ball in the corner for more than 2 minutes.
Video of the performance has since gone viral on the internet, with a fan on Reddit calling it “the biggest time-wasting piece ever”.
Another commenter on YouTube wrote, “This is such a world class waste of time I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
The cameo capped a spectacular evening for Haifa, which went down 2-0 with a normal time of just 13 minutes.
The result sees them climb to second place in Israel’s Premier League, just two points behind Hapoel Beersheba.