Ghana calls for Fifa rule change after World Cup exit

Luis Suarez handling the ball Luis Suarez was banned from the semi-final, which Uruguay lost

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Ghana's sports minister says Fifa should change its rules after a handball "robbed" the Black Stars of victory in the World Cup.

Akua Sena Dansua did not say which rules should change but some Ghanaians have said their team should have been awarded a penalty goal.

At the end of last week's quarter-final, Uruguay's Luis Suarez prevented a Ghanaian goal with his hand.

He was sent off and Ghana were awarded a penalty, which they missed.

The punishment for deliberate handball was in line with current football regulations.

Uruguay went on to eliminate Ghana via a penalty shoot-out.

Start Quote

While you lost the game, you came out winners”

End Quote Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan

In response to Ms Dansua's call, a Fifa spokesman said that any proposed changes to the laws would have to go through the International Football Association Board (IFAB), which next meets in Wales in March 2011.

She also urged the African Union to campaign against what she called the "unfair treatment" received by African teams in international tournaments.

Despite their defeat, Ghana became only the third African team to reach the World Cup quarter-finals and were given a heroes' welcome on their return to Accra.

Ghana's President John Atta Mills has said the players would be given national awards, as well as $20,000 (£13,000) each.

"You did not win the World Cup but, through your performance, you carried high the flags of not only Ghana but Africa," he said.

People from across Africa, especially the hosts South Africa, supported Ghana after the continent's other teams were knocked out of the first World Cup held on African soil.

Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who is from Ghana, also congratulated the team, in particular for accepting their defeat "with dignity".

"While you lost the game, you came out winners," he said.

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