Semi-retired Ghanaian footballer and the former captain of the Black Stars, Asamoah Gyan has finally freed Uruguayan, forward Luiz Suarez for his handball incident against Ghana during the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup quarter finals.
The former Sunderland skipper claimed that Suarez did that to save his country though it prevented Ghana for making history.
In the 2010 World Cup, Ghana progressed beyond the group stages, and reached the quarter-finals where they were eliminated by Uruguay. Ghana was defeated by Uruguay on penalties after Luis Suárez controversially handballed on the goal line deep into extra time, denying Ghana an almost certain winning goal. Had Ghana won their quarter final, they would have become the first African nation to progress to the semi finals of the world cup. Of the 32 countries that participated in the 2010 FIFA World Cup, FIFA ranked Ghana 7th.
Ghana lost 4-2 on spot-kicks after Uruguay goalkeeper Fernando Muslera saved two penalties before Sebastian Abreu converted the winner.
Before that, Asamoah Gyan had smashed a last-minute penalty into the cross-bar in injury time of the second half of extra time.
This was after Luis Suarez blocked Dominic Adiyiah’s goal-bound header with his hand.
Asamoah Gyan who squandered the opportunity seemed to understand the situation now despite the 12-years critiques.
In an interview on Ghanaian-based Peace FM, Gyan was quizzed on how he will react to the then Liverpool star when they meet but the living legend responded, “I won’t do anything against him. What happened in 2010, he did it to save his country. Without that they shouldn’t have advanced. We had the opportunity but played it away but he had to do what he did to keep the team in the tournament. I would have also done that if I were him to help my country. Sometimes people feel like it was a cheat but he had to do everything to save the country although he had a red card but he sacrificed for his country to go through.”
“I would have also done that if I were to be in his shoes.”
Baby Jet also disclosed that he nearly punched Suarez when Sunderland faced Liverpool in the Premier League after that tournament.
“People spoke about the incident and it got into my head a bit. I remember when Sunderland faced Liverpool, during the exchange of handshakes, I watched him with some eye,” Gyan said.
“I wanted to even punch him because people had said things that had gotten into my head, but I realised I had to let it go because I would’ve done the same thing if I was Suarez.”
Gyan, Ghana’s leading top scorer, has been absent from the Black Stars since the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and has not played active football in over 12 months.