“I don’t have to lose forgiveness” says Suarez about game with Ghana in 2010

Uruguay forward Luis Suárez refused to apologize to the Ghanaians on Thursday for his role in Ghana’s 2010 World Cup elimination, arguing it was not the ball he knocked over the line with the hand – which would give the winning goal to the African team – that prevented the team from reaching the semi-final, but the wasted penalty in the sequence.

A victory for Ghana against Uruguay in the final match of Group H of this year’s World Cup in Qatar, on Friday (2), could avenge the painful defeat for the South Americans in 2010, when, after wasting the penalty by Suárez – who was sent off on the move–, Ghana lost in the penalty shootout.

A reporter asked Suárez if he would apologize to a nation that considered him “El Diablo”.

“I make no apologies for that … the player missed a penalty,” he said, responding in English. “Perhaps I could say that I would apologize if I hurt the player and got a red card,” he said. “But in this situation I get a red card and the referee gives the penalty. It’s not my fault because I didn’t make a mistake.” “It’s not my responsibility to take the penalty,” he added.

Bitterness remains entrenched among Ghana fans over the incident in Johannesburg 12 years ago, which denied Ghana the feat of being the first African team to reach the semi-finals of a World Cup.

A victory in Al Wakrah will see Ghana qualify for the round of 16 in Qatar, but they could still advance with a draw if already qualified Portugal beat South Korea.

The Ghana team seemed less interested in labeling Suarez as a villain, however, saying Friday’s game with Uruguay is not about revenge.

“What happened a few years ago will always be history in our minds. But this is a totally different game,” said Thomas Partey, a Ghanaian midfielder who plays for England’s Arsenal.

Exasperated by a succession of questions about Suarez, Ghana coach Otto Addo said the public saw the game as a chance to settle scores, but for his team it was just about qualifying.

Referring to Suárez’s handball, he said the 2010 defeat was a very sad day for Ghana, but teams needed players to make sacrifices.

“It’s all a matter of perspective. If the same incident had happened in reverse and Ghana had gone through to the semi-finals, everyone would say ok, it’s normal for a player to do everything he can,” he said. “That’s what every player wants, to do whatever you can to help your team qualify and sometimes sacrifice yourself by getting a red card.”

* Reproduction of this content is prohibited.

Translated to english by RJ983

From Brazil, by EBC News