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I have No Reason to Apologise to Ghana, Suarez Insists Defiantly
Unrepentant Uruguay striker, Luis Suarez, insisted yesterday that he has no reason to apologise to Ghana for his handball that stopped the Black Stars from qualifying for the semi-final of the World Cup in South Africa 12 years ago.
Ghana was on the verge of making history qualifying for Africa’s first semi-final in the FIFA World Cup at South Africa 2010 but Suarez punched out the goal-bound ball. Asamoah Gyan missed the resultant penalty after the Uruguayan forward was sent off while the South Americans went through to the last 4.
Speaking at the pre-match conference yesterday ahead of the crucial Group G final game between Ghana and Uruguay at the Al Janoub Stadium today, Suarez said he was penalized for the offence and has no reason to apologise to the Black Stars.
“The Ghana player (Asamoah Gyan) missed the penalty, not me,” insisted the former Liverpool forward.
Since the unfortunate incident 12 years ago, today’s game here in Qatar is the first time both countries will meet at this senior level of the game.
“I don’t apologise for it. I apologise if I injure a player but I took a red card for the handball. It wasn’t my fault (that Ghana went out) because I didn’t miss the penalty,” Suarez insisted defiantly.
His actions in 2010 sparked outrage in Ghana, partly as a result of his exuberant celebrations on the touchline as Uruguay won on penalties. Suarez’s side were then beaten in the last four by the Netherlands.
The current Ghana squad have however sought to play down talk of revenge against Suarez and Uruguay, with captain Andre Ayew – the only remaining player from the 2010 squad – saying he wants to move on.
“Everyone felt bad (in 2010) but for me I just want to get to the next stage,” he said. “Revenge or not, we would go with the same determination and desire to win. I am not looking back; I don’t want to focus on the past.”
Ghana needs a win to get into the knockout stage – but a defeat would see the South American side progress if South Korea fail to beat Portugal.
If Uruguay and South Korea both win, goal difference – and possibly goals scored – would decide their fate, with the Asian side holding a one-goal advantage.