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Ghana not out for revenge against Uruguay after Luis Suarez World Cup heartache

The Independent
The Independent
 2022-11-29

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Andre Ayew believes the Ghanaian people have not forgiven Luis Suarez for the deliberate handball that stopped the Black Stars from becoming the first African side to reach the last four of the World Cup.

Ghana face Uruguay on Friday in a rematch of the 2010 quarter-final, which Oscar Tabarez’s side won on penalties but only after Suarez was sent off in the 121st minute.

Ghana substitute Dominic Adiyiah’s header was going in before Suarez blocked it with his hand, was red-carded and celebrated enthusiastically when Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty. An unrepentant Suarez later said: “The Hand of God now belongs to me.”

Ayew, now Ghana’s captain, is the lone survivor of that squad and feels his compatriots have not forgotten and will not absolve Suarez for his actions. “I don’t think so,” the forward said. “For me, it’s football. He took a decision. I’m the only who was in the squad when that happened. The others don’t really know how we felt. Everyone felt bad.”

Defender Gideon Mensah denied it was a revenge mission for him, though he believes it is for some people in Ghana.

He said: “We are not looking for the revenge part of the game. We’re not. For the country and some individuals, yes, they are. But for the players but it’s just like any other game.

“I grew up watching the World Cup. We expected to win when we got the penalty with the handball, so it wasn’t a great feeling for us.”

Midfielder Thomas Partey added: “It was very difficult. Everyone was very sad at that time. We have to work harder. Now we have another chance. This is a new generation.”

Ayew, who was suspended for the Uruguay game in 2010, said the incentive now is to reach the last 16, not to defeat Suarez.

He explained: “If it was revenge or not, we would go with the same determination and the same desire to win because we want to get to the next stage. It’s not a matter of revenge. It’s more a question of us getting to the next stage.”

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