Tabarez: We have no reason to feel ashamed

URUGUAY coach Oscar Tabarez says his side will feel no embarrassment when they line up against Holland in the World Cup semi-final at the Green Point stadium tonight.

Tabarez maintains that Luis Suarez did not cheat when he handled the ball on the line to deprive Ghana a quarter-final winner in the last seconds of extra time, the Ajax striker then celebrating on the touchline when Asamoah Gyan missed the resulting penalty.

“We are very proud and we’re upset with this topic. We’re proud of our performances and what we’ve contributed to the development of football at this World Cup.

“Uruguay went through almost three matches without a yellow card, so please don’t tell me we’re cheats.”

It was a feisty final press conference as Tabarez refused to give an update on the injured Diego Lugano or to name his starting 11 as he had promised, claiming the Uruguayan press had been spying on his training sessions.

Tabarez was prepared to talk about a Holland side which has reached the semi-final after winning all eight of their qualifying matches plus five games in South Africa, including knocking out Brazil 2-1 in the quarter- finals.

He spotlighted Arjen Robben as their biggest danger.

“He’s a great footballer,” Tabarez said. “He’s very fast, very nimble. With Robben back, this Holland side benefits greatly.”

Uruguay have won the World Cup twice, in 1930 at the inaugural event and in 1950.

“We have a long way to go. The world nowadays is very different to that in the first half of the 20th century, when Uruguay hardly lost a match. The gap is widening more and more between the first and the third world. It would be a dream to become a footballing power again,” he said.

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