Jeux de la Francophonie - What is the big deal?

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.

The football tournament itself is just one of many other sports events at the Games and the teams participating in it may or may not be true youth national teams, like in the case of Quebec and France, two teams in Haiti's group. The Canadian team is actually a Quebec select while the French team is a totally different U-20 assembled for the sole purpose of representing France at the cultural event.

Is it worth participating in these games? The real question is not whether it is worth it or not but rather a team like Haiti can afford it and harvest some benefits from it, at least from a cultural point of view. However, Haiti's participation at the games has nothing to do with culture or sport development.

Haiti participates in every youth football tournaments, francophone or not, around the world to which it is invited regardless of their importance. The officials see these events as a way to get easy money from the government, the private sector, and international organizations. Notice that when competing in official FIFA tournaments those same officials would replace every single local youth player they can by players from abroad. Haiti has more non-local players in its officials national teams than any other CONCACAF country. 

Participating in the Francophone Games is not a bad decision in itself...if the officials have the means and desire to ensure that the players will be cared for and they will gain valuable experience that will serve the national teams later on. None of those is true, unfortunately. The players are just actors in a circus show that generates money for the show directors. They will go play and the officials will collect. Then, they will be totally forgotten the next time a new bunch of comedians are needed for a new show. There is no plan and there will be no continuity. 

The Francophone Games are cultural events, after all. For dirt poor countries like Haiti, Guinea, and Niger it is really hard to justify the expenses. Since the games started in 1989, Haiti has managed to only win a grand total of 5 medals compared to the hundreds that France and Canada has bagged. Guinea only won 2! 

From a political point of view, Haiti participating in set of events to celebrate its past French connections is a paradox since that is the exact legacy that is still haunting the country in present days. The Francophonie is the most unequal subdivision of the world. The former French colonies are some of the poorest countries and that is not a coincidence. France made sure that its colonies remained poor and undeveloped through economic policies like the Colbertism which prevented local developments. Those policies were so restrictive that the French colons of Haiti were the first to declare war on France!

After the independence of Haiti, France ensured that the country remained poor by constantly threatening wars, forcing unfair payments of indemnities,  and imposing sanctions on its trades with other nations that crippled the country for centuries. Why is Haiti participating at the Jeux de la Francophonie? A mystery!

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Tini_man replied the topic: #17 7 months 1 day ago
When will the game start for this tournament ?

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