13H00 Soudan du Sud - Congo
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16H00 Guinée-Bissau - Nigeria
16H00 Niger - Algérie
16H00 Angola - Ghana
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15H30 AS Korofina - US des Forces Armées et de Sécurité de Bamako
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Qatar 2022 - Ghana: The day Suarez prevented Africa from playing a semi-final

Qatar 2022 - Ghana: The day Suarez prevented Africa from playing a semi-final

After successful quarter-finals by Cameroon (1990) and Senegal (2002), Ghana was to be the first African nation to play a World Cup semi-final. Only, this dream that was so close in 2010, will be dashed by one man: Luis Suarez (Uruguay).

July 2, 2010 could have been a historic date for Africa. But this date is reminiscent of a nightmare. A real tsunami for the many footballers of the black continent. Because never, an African selection was so close to achieve an unprecedented feat: to qualify for the semi-finals of a World Cup. Ghana felt it and the Black Stars were already letting go off their lips at the idea of doing it.

If Cameroon had reached the quarterfinals for the first time in 1990, followed by Senegal in 2002, Ghana had already equaled that record on South African soil and history was simply to be written in indelible ink on that July 2. Against all odds, Luis Suarez prevented an entire continent from pursuing the dream.

Flashback: At the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg, a World Cup quarterfinal was being played. The scoreboard was stuck at 1-1 between the Uruguayans and the Ghanaians. The hearts of the many fans in the stands were pounding. We were approaching the final moments of a game still undecided.

Uruguay was "refusing" to play and was entrenched in its camp. On a very last action in the extra time, a hand of Luis Suarez stopped a shot on goal. One of the most controversial and memorable moments of the tournament. Suarez was sent off. Shooter Gyan Asamoah holds his breath. The whole of Africa accompanies him in his attempt. In the end, it was Ghana and Africa that were left on their knees as the Black Stars would later lose on penalties (4-2).

The wound still hasn't healed

It is one of the biggest disillusionments of Ghana in a World Cup. Going to its fourth participation with the edition of Qatar after 2006 (Germany), 2010 (South Africa), 2014 (Brazil), the mates of Andre Ayew have never forgotten this painful page. "We were deceived", said John Paintsil. And to reveal. "Clearing the ball with the hand - we were supposed to be awarded a goal". "I can't forgive him because it was not an accident. He (Suarez) knows what he did. We were crying and you see that someone who cheated us is celebrating. How can I forgive him? I will never forgive, never, never", added Sarpei, still in BBC. "For me, I thought, 'the last man on the line, touched the ball with his hand, it's supposed to be a goal' - so I was already looking forward to our victory," Pantsil, one of Ghana's star players for a long time even, still recalls. "On the way to the game against Uruguay, everyone knew we could beat them, the whole world was supporting us," lamented left-back Sarpei.

After missing the 2018 World Cup, Ghana then returned to the world stage, still with that winning spirit.


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