Saturday, 30 September 2017 10:58

Collat's list of selectees is starting to become a real national team's roaster

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.

Honestly, both Sanon and Pompe were more deserving of a call-up than the players they have replaced if player performance was the leading qualifying criterion for selection. Sanon earned his selection at the last U-20 tournament where he was clearly one of the best talents in the team while Pompe has consistently been a solid player in the local league and was instrumental in Haiti's victory versus Trinidad in the 5th place Play-off tournament in Trinidad.

According to the FHF, Sanon will replace Herve Bazile who rejects his selection because he does not feel like the friendly match versus Japan is important enough for him to risk injuries while his club SM Caen in playing in the French Ligue 1. To his credit, Bazile is very prone to injury. However, the important question is why a player who always finds a reason to bail out every time he gets a call continues to be on every list of the FHF. Additionally, Bazile is really not doing well at his club. So, why was he on the list in the first place?

Mardoche Pompe will replace Reginald Goreux. The FHF likes to use the word 'level' to justify its choices pretending that the players they select from abroad have higher 'level' than the ones playing in the local league or in the USA. In comparing Pompe and Goreux' respective performance in their last games we can clearly see the higher level argument does not make sense. Goreux' performance has been consistently poor in the past few years. People have come to expect one major blunder from Goreux in every match. However, the solid defender from Don Bosco was a key player in the team that allowed Haiti to win the 5th place play-off over Trinidad and Surinam. If higher level means better performance then Pompe was the better choice.

Ironically, Pompe himself despite his good performance in his last match is certainly not the most qualified for the right-back position. That honor goes to veteran Jean Sony Alcenat who has never been a favorite of the French coach. The Portugal-based defender is by far the most talented player of the national team yet the Marc Collat has overlooked him twice. In his first tenure as the head-coach, he only played Alcenat a few times to calm the critics. 

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