Suarez not sorry as Ayew tells Ghana to get over it

Jordan Ayew (middle) races past two Portuguese players. PHOTO/AFP

What you need to know:

With the quarterfinal World Cup game, then, between Ghana and Uruguay tied 1-1 in extra time, Suarez blatantly kept out Dominic Adiyah’s goal-bound headed ball using his hand. The referee sent the Uruguayan off and the forward was seen celebrating as he headed down the tunnel after Asamoah Gyan struck the resultant spot kick against the bar and over.


It is 12 years later and the pain, agony and hurt lives on in Ghanaian hearts. Then on July 2, 2010 at FNB Stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa, Uruguayan Luis Suarez became the most infamous figure in Ghana.

With the quarterfinal World Cup game, then, between Ghana and Uruguay tied 1-1 in extra time, Suarez blatantly kept out Dominic Adiyah’s goal-bound headed ball using his hand.

The referee sent the Uruguayan off and the forward was seen celebrating as he headed down the tunnel after Asamoah Gyan struck the resultant spot kick against the bar and over.

Uruguay went on to win on penalties and knock the last remaining African side out of the tournament.

Now a decade on, Ghana and Uruguay go head-to-head again today, with a place in the last-16 of this year’s World Cup in Qatar the reward.

Apologise? No thank you!

Facing questions from the world's media at yesterday’s pre-match press conference, it was put to Suarez that he is viewed as "the devil himself" by many in Ghana. True to himself, the Uruguayan veteran forward had no regrets.

"I don't apologise about that, I took the handball, but Ghana player missed the penalty,” he said, "I'd apologise if I injured a player or took a red card for this, but I took a red card (for the handball). It wasn't my fault because I didn't miss the penalty.”

Gyan, currently one of SuperSport’s World Cup panel of experts, has admitted in the past that he was indeed to blame for missing the penalty, but adds that Suarez remains a hated figure in Ghana.

“Back home, everybody who watched the game, they dislike Suarez,’ said Gyan. “He is a hero in Uruguay although people in Ghana see him as a cheat. People do hate him.”

But Gyan, now 37, has reflected over the years and told United Kingdom’s talkSPORT in the run-up to today’s match that he understood Gyan’s actions. ‘If I was Suarez I would have done the same to save my country,” said Gyan.

Suarez’s former national captain and scorer of the Uruguay equaliser against Ghana that forced extra time in 2010, Diego Forlan, also chipped in. “People like to criticise. He (Suarez) makes mistakes like everybody. He is a nice guy and very professional.

‘I don’t know why everybody says he cheated. There are rules. He touched the ball with his hand, that’s true, he was penalised, sent off and Ghana had the chance to score a penalty.

“Once you play football you know and respect the rules so no complaints after. When they had that penalty, I thought that was the end.”

A draw on Friday should be enough to take Ghana through at their Uruguay’s expense today, and Black Stars skipper Andre Ayew sees the match for exactly this reason, not revenge.

“As team leader, I don’t believe we should view this game as revenge,” said Ayew, “Instead, we must be smart enough to recognise that it is a match we need points from.

“We can’t ignore history, but what Luis Suarez did is something I could have done in the same situation. It hurt us all. But that’s part of football and it happened years ago.

“We just want to win against Uruguay after everything that has been said in the media. As a player, if you go into a game with the intent of retaliation, you can make a lot of mistakes and be hyper.

“We just need to stay calm, follow the plan and try to win the game, or do whatever we can to advance to the next stage.”

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