A defiant Uruguay forward Luis Suarez has asked Ghanaians to move on from the past after being told he is considered ‘the devil himself’ by many in the West African country.
On Friday, December 2, the two nations will meet for the first time since his infamous handball incident at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
With the score tied at 1-1 in the quarterfinal clash, Suarez kept out a Dominic Adiyiah header deep in extra-time with a handball on the goal-line, preventing Ghana from scoring a winner which would have made them the first-ever African side to reach the last four of a World Cup.
Suarez was shown a straight red card, but then celebrated wildly on the touchline when Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty. Uruguay went on to win the shoot-out 4-2.
Bringing back memories of the incident 12 years ago, Suarez responded to Ghanaians’ expectations of him. He said he was not remorseful as he was firmly punished with a red card.
Suarez went on to assert that Ghana had a chance to win the game with the penalty Gyan failed to convert, saying, “It is not my fault because I did not miss the penalty.”
Suarez, 35, then urged Ghanaians to stop dwelling on the past.
The former Liverpool and FC Barcelona star cited his biting of Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini in a heated match during a World Cup in 2014, saying they shook hands and moved on from that episode.
“I played against Chiellini afterwards. I made a mistake with what I did and then we shook hands and played.
“You can’t just keep thinking about the past and revenge, because it would be counterproductive,” Suarez added.
In 2020, Chiellini, in his autobiography, wrote that he bore no grudge towards Suarez.
Uruguay will play Ghana on Friday at the Al Janoub Stadium and will need a straight win to qualify. Kickoff is at 15:00 GMT.