Men's Football (19)
After a shock elimination from the Gold Cup qualifiers, Haiti calls up 7 new and young players from abroad to face Japan in a friendly on 10 October. The new faces are Jean Ambrose, Jems Geffrard, Bryan Alceus, Zachary Herivaux, Renald Metelus, Jimmy Sannon, and Richelor Sprangers. What do we know about those players and do they all deserve to join the national team? We look at each player background and performance at club level to determine whether a player receives the call on merit or not. Because all 7 players are under 25, we do not pretend that a player we deem undeserving of the call-up is unqualified for future selection. We understand that some players do improve the quality of their game as they become older.
For the 10 October friendly versus Japan, the newly-appointed and controversial coach Marc Collat published a list of players that left little doubt that he is intended to bring back a team that is totally independent from Haitian football. The list contained 14 foreign-born players, mostly from France, and just 1 representative of the local league. Fortunately some of those players, probably aware of the true reason they have been called up, decide to recuse themselves citing various excuses which has forced the coach and his bosses at the federation haitienne de football (FHF) to turn to some other players. The new additions, so far Haitian-Canadian Jimmy Sanon and Haiti-born Mardochee Pompe, certainly make the list looks more like a national team.
If you expect Haiti's friendly versus Japan on 10 October to showcase Haitian football in the Far East and give some local players the opportunity to walk away with a contract in a region with virtually no Haitian presence you need to stop dreaming right now. Players in Haiti are left out and replaced in most cases by less talented and older ones from abroad. About 7 new players who were not a member of the foreign-based only team that failed to qualify for the gold cup will travel to Japon but neither has a connection with Haitian football. Just one player currently living in Haiti is on the selectee list but everyone knows he has zero chance of actually receiving a minute of play.
It has been erroneously reported on many local and social media that Donald Guerrier 6-0 defeat with Azerbaijani club Qarabag FK versus Chelsea FC is a milestone in Haitian football. Unfortunately, the former America des Cayes player has been preceded by many other players who hailed from Haiti.
Sony Norde's new contract of US$400,000 for just 6 months with Mohun Bagan in the Indian I-League hits a new milestone in the country's football history. No player has ever made so much money in the I-League. However, on the Haitian side, this contract indicates that Sony Norde outsmarts once again his Haitian rivals in the earning department while silencing his critics who believe he is being wasted in the wasteland football world of India.
As strange as it may sound, Haitian players and supporters are more aware of football in India than anywhere else in Asia. Many players of the Haiti national team have played in India and riding on the back of successful transplants like Sony Norde and Wedson Anselme, it is expected that more Haitian players will join India's top two leagues. Therefore, the questions why does India have two leagues and which is one is better naturally come to mind.
This year Donald Guerrier and Kervens Belfort have entered the football system of Azerbaijan, a country located in Western Asia but that is a member of UEFA (Union of European Football Associations). Belfort has signed a one year contract with Zira FK on 16 June while Donald Guerrier joined Qarabag FK on 6 July for 2 years. Both clubs are located in the capital city Baku.
This question of whether this or that foreign-born player is Haitian is one that is often raised in Haitian football discussion forums, radio talk-shows, and social media. Naturally, this question has been raised many times in relation to Chilean player Jean Beausejour, the most decorated football player with direct connection to Haiti. Unfortunately, there is not a short answer to this question.
To determine the current most capable striker we look at performances at the national team and clubs regardless of opposition strength. There are two reasons for this consideration: 1) all current strikers have played and scored in similar leagues and against comparable national teams; 2) since, the most regular strikers of the national team have rarely scored in recent games, we have decided to make it fair to them by including all past performances regardless of current forms. However, although we have credited current non-performing players for past scores, we also look at the goal per game ratio to determine the players who would likely score if Haiti was to play today. The ranking of best strikers is as follows:
To be honest, the Francophone Games are not a big deal from a football perspective. Those games are a set of cultural and amateur sport events between France and countries or territories that fall within its former and current sphere of influence. Quebec, a province of Canada, and Haiti are equally members of the Francophonie due to their former status as French colonies and their maintaining of some aspects of French culture.