Suarez: Nothing evil about handball

Luis Suarez has again defended his infamous handball against Ghana at the 2010 World Cup, telling the Uruguayan FA’s official website: “I did nothing evil to anyone.”

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The quarterfinal between the two sides had been level at 1-1 as the match approached extra time, but Ghana would have taken the lead in the last minute had Suarez not used his hand to keep out Dominic Adiyah’s header.

Suarez was sent off but Asamoah Gyan failed to convert the resulting penalty and, with the match ending 1-1, Uruguay claimed victory after a shootout.

The Liverpool striker, who had said after the game that his was “the real ‘hand of God,’” has again spoken of his pride at helping his country into the semifinals.

“I stick with the feeling of having helped my team,” he said ahead of the friendly with Austria. “I stopped a goal, and I believe that it is worse when you stop a goal and injure an opponent, seriously injure them, and get sent off for that.

“Stopping a goal with my hand I believe did nothing evil to anyone -- it was just stopping a goal."

He insisted Gyan should bear the responsibility for Ghana’s failure to progress, adding: "The referee did the right thing -- he sent me off and [Ghana] had a penalty. But the taker was a Ghana player, not me.”

Suarez was initially in tears after the incident but celebrated after Gyan missed.

“Afterwards came all the joy that Uruguay had won on penalties,” he said. “That is not something to feel bad about either, nor is it something strange.

“The referee did what he had to do. I stopped a goal and did not hit any opponent, nor did I injure anyone.”