Thu, 09 Feb 2023

DOHA, Dec. 1 (Xinhua) -- It is probably fair to say that Uruguay striker Luis Suarez is not the most popular person in Ghana ever since his handball denied a certain goal in the closing moments of the quarter-final between the two sides in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Suarez pulled off a save that most goalkeepers would be satisfied with to stop Dominic Adiyiah's header in the dying seconds of extra time. Suarez was sent off and Asamoah Gyan crashed the resulting penalty against the crossbar.

Uruguay won the resulting penalty shoot-out and booked a semi-final tie against the Netherlands (which they lost), while Ghana were denied the chance of a becoming the first African team to reach the last-four in the tournament.

12 years later in Qatar, Uruguay have to beat Ghana to have a chance of qualifying from a well-balanced group, while a win (and a draw) for Ghana would assure they finish about Uruguay (although they need to win to assure finishing ahead of South Korea).

Uruguay put Suarez forward to speak to the press on the eve of Friday's game against Ghana that closes Group H in Qatar, but if anyone expected Suarez to pour oil on troubled waters, they clearly do not know him.

When told by a Ghanian reporter that he was considered "the devil himself" in Ghana because of the incident, his reply was simple: "I can't apologize about that. I committed the handball, but the Ghana player (Gyan) missed the penalty, not me."

"Maybe I can apologize if I injure a player and get a red card. Maybe I can apologize, but in this situation, I got a red card and the referee said penalty, it's not my fault, because I didn't miss the penalty," insisted Suarez.

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