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Luis Suarez has refused to apologise to the nation of Ghana for his infamous handball in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup which led to Ghana’s elimination from the tournament at the expense of Uruguay.
The two teams will meet once again on Friday in the group stage of the 2022 World Cup, and the reunion has stirred memories of the incident in South Africa.
In the dying minutes of extra time, Suarez deliberately used his hands to stop a goal-bound shot from Stephen Appiah which would have sent Ghana through to the World Cup semi-finals. Suarez was sent off, but Asamoah Gyan then missed the subsequent penalty and the opportunity to clinch the game.
Gyan composed himself to score a few minutes later in the penalty shootout but Uruguay would go on to win 4-2, and Suarez emerged from the dressing room a hero, lifted up on to the shoulders of his teammates as they celebrated their triumph.
Speaking to the media ahead of the match, a Ghanaian journalist put to Suarez that he is considered “the devil himself” by many in Ghana, but the 35-year-old striker defended his actions.
“I don’t apologise about that,” Suarez said. “I take the handball, but the Ghana player miss a penalty, not me. Maybe I apologise if I injure a player but in this situation, I take a red card, the ref say penalty. It’s not my fault.”
Uruguay’s manager, Diego Alonso, was asked if he would be happy for Suarez to do something similar in this match.
“Every match is different, “ Alonso said. “I don’t think we will experience a similar situation to that one. Let’s just focus on playing a full game. If we do this we have a good chance of winning the three points.
“I don’t know if Ghana think this is revenge or not. We know it’s a key game to qualify, that’s all that matters to us. We have to respect Ghana, we always do that.”
more to follow…