Uruguay superstar Luis Suarez is unrepentant as he has strongly defended his infamous handball against Ghana at the 2010 World Cup insisting â€œI did nothing evil to anyone.â€
The quarter-final 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 Adiyahâ€™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 â€œthe real â€˜hand of God,â€™â€ has again spoken of his pride at helping his country into the semifinals.
â€œI stick with the feeling of having helped my team,â€ he said ahead of the friendly with Austria.
â€œI 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.
â€œStopping 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 Ghanaâ€™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.â€
Suarez was initially in tears after the incident but celebrated after Gyan missed.
â€œAfterwards came all the joy that Uruguay had won on penalties,â€ he said. â€œThat is not something to feel bad about either, nor is it something strange.
â€œThe referee did what he had to do. I stopped a goal and did not hit any opponent, nor did I injure anyone.â€