CAPE TOWN - Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez has reacted angrily to suggestions that his team do not deserve their World Cup semi-final place after Luis Suarez's handball in their quarter-final against Ghana.
"This question is disgraceful," he replied after being asked during a news conference if Uruguay were embarrassed about the incident in which Suarez handled on the line and stopped a certain Ghana winner in the last minute of extra-time.
Suarez was sent off but Ghana missed their penalty on Friday, the match finished 1-1 and Uruguay won the shootout.
"We are proud of what we have achieved in this World Cup and the way we have overcome the difficulties we have faced, not just because of the way we have played but also because of our behaviour," said Tabarez.
"Uruguay played for more than two games without receiving a yellow card so don't come to me and say that we're a team who cheat, I don't accept that at any time."
Tabarez said that Ghana were awarded a penalty and Suarez sent off, as stipulated by the rules
"They are speculating about something which can happen and has happened in other matches and which is covered by the rules," he said.
"In the 1990 World Cup, we were victims of a similar incident in a match against Spain, and on that occasion the player was not even sent off."
"What I find disgraceful is the scandal that has been created around this incident by some journalists, in particular English ones - I don't know why."
Tabarez also refused to criticise Netherlands forward Arjen Robben for his alleged theatricals.
"Like any other player, he gets knocked and he has cheekiness. I wouldn't been as drastic to say that what he does is disgraceful or is cheating," he said.
"That's what we have the referee for, he's the only one who can interpret the player's intentions, and decide the consequences."comments