Sunderland record signing

Gyan forgives Suarez for World Cup handball

September 10, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

New Sunderland signing Asamoah Gyan has promised fans he would take a red card for the team if he had to, claiming he has forgiven Uruguay striker Luis Suarez for doing just that to dump Ghana out of the World Cup.

Asamoah Gyan was inconsolable at the end of penalties
GettyImagesAsamoah Gyan was inconsolable at the end of penalties

Ghana striker Gyan missed a last-minute penalty after Suarez blocked a shot with his arm in their World Cup quarter-final clash, allowing the South Americans to take advantage by winning the resulting penalty shootout.

The incident caused a global debate about the morality of Suarez's actions. The striker was sent off for the handball and while his subsequent celebrations at Gyan's unfortunate miss were a little on the nose, most players agreed they would have taken one for the team and that Suarez couldn't personally be blamed for any perceived injustice against Ghana.

On his unveiling as a Sunderland player, Gyan admitted he too would have done the same thing in Suarez's position and that the Ajax man can rightfully be called a "hero" and a "cheat" in the same breath.

"I've forgiven him - it's part of the game," Gyan told the Daily Telegraph. "As I always say, if it was me, I would have done the same thing. In the last minute, if you're going out, he made himself a hero in his country. It was cheating to handle the ball, but I would do the same. Maybe I will do it for Sunderland in one important game. He's done a great job for his country.

"Suárez is a hero because he got his team to the semi-finals. He's like a hero for that cheating. The referee should have done something about it, but that's life. Penalties? For me, I have done a good job for my country. I think 90 per cent of the penalties have been scored by me despite that miss. That's life."

Gyan became Sunderland's record signing with a £13 million move from Rennes on transfer deadline day. Not short of confidence, the mobile forward believes he will repay the outlay.

"I don't really know if I'm worth my fee, but with the quality I have I think I am," he said. "I did a great job at the World Cup and everybody knows me now. It's a challenge to me because people will be expecting more."