Luis Suarez refuses to apologise to Ghana over 2010 handball
Luis Suarez feels no need to apologize for his handball against Ghana 12 years ago, as he hopes to propel Uruguay into the World Cup last 16.
Having taken a point from their opening two matches in Qatar, Uruguay must beat Ghana on Friday to progress from Group H.
However, the game at Al Janoub Stadium is something of a grudge match – at least from the point of view of Ghana supporters.
While the Black Stars coach Otto Addo insisted Ghana will not be out for revenge, Suarez has been a hugely unpopular figure in the African nation since he handled on the line to deny Dominic Adiyiah a goal in extra-time of a World Cup quarter-final tie in 2010.
Suarez was sent off, but Asamoah Gyan hit the crossbar from the resulting spot-kick, with Uruguay going on to progress to the semi-finals by winning the penalty shoot-out.
The former Liverpool and Barcelona star has never considered apologizing, though.
“I don’t apologise for that,” he said in a press conference.
“I did the handball, but the Ghana player missed a penalty, not me.
“Maybe I could apologise if I injured the player, but in this situation I was sent off, the ref said penalty – it’s not my fault, because I didn’t miss the penalty.
“It’s not my responsibility to score the penalty.”
When it was put to Suarez that Ghana, who could go through with a point, might be even more motivated if he plays in what could well be his final World Cup game, the 35-year-old suggested an obsession with revenge is unhealthy.
“I haven’t thought about this. I don’t know what people are saying or if they want revenge,” he replied.
“The players who might play tomorrow might’ve been eight years old back then, will they be motivated? Some people might call me the Devil.
“We beat Portugal in 2018, have you heard Portuguese people saying they needed revenge because we lost?”
Suarez also referenced the incident involving Giorgio Chiellini in the 2014 World Cup, when the Uruguay forward bit the Italy defender on the shoulder.
“What I did to Chiellini, I made a mistake, but afterwards we played together in the Champions League and shook hands,” he added.
“You can’t focus on the past and revenge, that can be counter-productive.”
Uruguay coach Diego Alonso said: “For us it’s a defining match and that’s what matters, I don’t know if Ghana will want revenge, we respect them and we will try to be better to be able to qualify.”
His counterpart Addo, meanwhile, reiterated Ghana’s minds are not fixed on revenge.
“This is what I wish from every player, to do all they can to get to the semi-final of a World Cup. Maybe sacrifice themselves. This is my perspective,” he said.
“It was very sad what happened in 2010, but we can’t change it. In general, it is about perspective,” Addo said.
“If the same incident had happened the other way round people would have talked about it, so for me it is not a big topic. We are going into the match like any other.”