The event that occurred between Ghana and Uruguay on that evening in 2010 is hovering big over this matchup, since Ghana and Uruguay are destined to face again in a men’s FIFA World Cup competition. The question that has to be answered is, “Why not go back and confront the elephant in the room?”
We are now at Soccer City, which is located in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Friday, July 2nd, 2010. Although the Bafana Bafana courageously bid their farewells a long time ago, the entire African continent is buzzing with the possibility of one of their own, Ghana, finally reaching the semifinals of this historic competition. This is the first time that an African nation has hosted the men’s FIFA World Cup.
It wasn’t only that we were playing for Ghana. Ibrahim Ayew, who began the match for the Black Stars on the bench and later spoke to The Athletic about the match, said that “we were playing for Africa.” “We were able to sense the whole of Africa trailing behind us. We were able to sense its presence on our shoulders.
Luis Suarez wrote another remarkable chapter in the book of world cup controversies while infamously saying: “The Hand of God now belongs to me.” He also broke the hearts of Ghana and Africa in a disastrous and horrific way throughout the course of the night.
What precisely had taken during the previous decade and a half?
There was total anarchy. There was a lot of mess. There was some degree of misunderstanding. At this point in the game, extra time was well underway, and the referee, Olegario Benquerenca, was surrounded by a crowd of people who were yelling in his ear.
The Black Stars had just earned a free kick in their offensive half a few moments earlier, when the score was still 1-1 and the game was knotted. The Uruguayans made a farce of clearing John Painstil’s delivery, which was whipped into a hazardous place, which led to anarchy breaking out in La Celeste’s box.
Suarez stood on the goal line, preventing Stephen Appiah’s shot from entering the goal with his knees, until the ball reached Ghana substitute Dominic Adiyiah, who also headed it goal-bound, this time to be punched away by the bare hands of Luis Suarez. Other inexplicable things happened, including Suarez standing on the goal line, preventing Stephen Appiah’s shot from entering the goal with his knees.
The match quickly descended into chaos when Suarez was cautioned with a red card and Ghana was given a penalty kick.
THE LAST TIME GHANAA COMPETED AGAINST URUGUAY IN A WORLD CUP PIC.TWITTER.COM/KRUDGOWSVG
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“For me, I thought, ‘last guy on the line, touch it with his hand, it’s meant to be a goal,’ so I was already rejoicing that we are through,” she said. “For me, I thought, ‘last man on the line, touch it with his hand, it’s supposed to be a goal.” Pantsil expressed to BBC Sport the feeling of disorientation that pervaded the situation at that time. “When I finally realized it was a punishment, I was dumbfounded and said, ‘What?’ I was yelling at them to “No, no, take the ball to the center (circle), take the ball to the center, take the ball to the center.”
In the end, it was Asamoah Gyan who went up to take the penalty kick. He had previously converted two penalties earlier in the season, but his effort to score from the spot hit the crossbar instead of the back of the net. Ecstatically celebrating Ghana’s loss while shedding tears, Suarez seemed as if he were rubbing salt into the country’s open wound.
In the end, Ghana was defeated by Uruguay 4-2 in a shootout decided on penalties. To this day, no African country has advanced to the semifinals of a men’s FIFA World Cup tournament.
The things that they did to us in South Africa were really insane… It seems as if both us and African football were cheated out of an opportunity for a historic adventure. Kwesi Appiah, a former striker for Ghana, made these comments to the press not too long ago. “It really burnt deeper than anything you can think,” he stated.
Suarez, on the other hand, has not shown any regret or contrition for the acts he took or the way the whole thing was handled. Because I did not miss the penalty, it was not my responsibility that it happened. I make no apologies for it in any way. On the record, the player, who is 35 years old, said, “I apologize in advance if I cause injury to another player, but I was shown a red card for the handball.”
It should come as no surprise that a journalist from Ghana informed Suarez at the press conference that a significant number of people in Ghana consider him as “the devil himself.”
Time for revenge?
“Ghanaians want retribution,” Gyan, who, of all persons, would have suffered the brunt of the grief from that loss, said. “Ghanaians want payback.” According to what he said to the BBC, when the draw was made and they saw Uruguay in Ghana’s group the only thing that sprang to mind was retribution. “When the draw was done and they saw Uruguay in Ghana’s group.”
The feelings of the people of Ghana are reflected in the words of their president, Nana Akufo-Addo. They are beginning to fall! Recently, he said that “we had to wait for 12 years to seek vengeance against Uruguay, and we guarantee them that this time the hand of Suarez will not save them against the Black Stars of Ghana.” “We had to wait for 12 years to obtain revenge against Uruguay.”
“We feel it will be retribution time. When the draw was made, Kurt Okraku, the president of the Ghana Football Association, added his two cents to the conversation by saying that “it is imperative that we all put the record right.”
The way that the group has played out means that when the two teams face each other on Friday, the Black Stars will have the opportunity to make their 12-year-long revenge even colder, as a win for Ghana will ensure that La Celeste are eliminated from the competition, while a victory for Ghana will put them in the round of 16.
However, the cacophony that is emanating from the Black Stars themselves does not revolve around the concept of exacting vengeance. Andre Ayew, who was a member of Ghana’s team in 2010, is the only player on the current squad who was also a member of Ghana’s team in 2010. The captain said that the next match “is not a question of retribution.” In addition, he said, “Getting to the next step is more of a concern at this point.”
The manager of Ghana’s team, Otto Addo, has remarked that he views their next encounter against Uruguay as “just a regular game.” He went on to say, “I was pretty upset back in 2010 when the event occurred and we lost our opportunity to progress to the semifinals,” and he added. But it was a dozen years ago, and Friday’s encounter will be very different, with an entirely new strategy.
Midfielder Thomas Partey, who was also the team captain, had the same sentiments as his head coach when he remarked, “History is always there.” At the moment, everyone felt a great deal of sadness. It was an extremely challenging task. This belongs to a different generation. Because we have another opportunity, we must ignore what has already transpired. This is a different epoch.