Uruguay striker Luis Suarez has refused to apologize for his handball game against Ghana at the 2010 World Cup.
Asamoah Gyan missed the ensuing penalty and Uruguay progressed.
“The Ghanaian player missed the penalty, not me,” Suarez said before the teams met in a decisive Group G game on Friday in this year’s World Cup final.
Ghana face Uruguay knowing a win would send them to the knockout stage – but a defeat would see the South American side progress if South Korea fail to beat Portugal.
If Uruguay and South Korea both win, goal difference – and possibly goals scored – will decide their fate, with the Asian team holding a one-goal advantage.
It is the first time the countries have met since the game 12 years ago, and former Liverpool striker Suarez was unrepentant despite being told by a Ghanaian journalist that some in the African country the regarded as “the devil himself”.
“I don’t apologize for that,” he said. “I apologize if I hurt a player but I got a red card for handball.
“It wasn’t my fault because I didn’t miss the penalty.”
His actions in 2010 sparked outrage in Ghana, in part due to his exuberant sideline celebrations as Uruguay won on penalties. Suarez’s side were then beaten in the last four by the Netherlands.
Ghana’s current squad, however, have sought to play down talk of revenge against Suarez and Uruguay, with captain Andre Ayew – the only remaining player from the 2010 squad – saying he wants to move on.
“Everyone felt bad [in 2010] but for me, I just want to take the next step,” he said. “Revenge or not, we would go with the same determination and the same desire to win.
“I don’t look back, I don’t want to focus on the past.”