Haitian Soccer History: December 18 1973 - December 18 2003

No man is truly great who is great only in his lifetime. The test of greatness is the page of history.

- William Hazlitt -

It's been 30 years since a group of young Haitian athletes wrote one of the most memorable sport pages in Haitian history.
Article by: Emmanuel "Manno" Sanon
Translated by: Woodring Saint Preux

It was the grand premiere and ONLY time in history (until today) that Haiti ever participated in the final stages of the Soccer World Cup.

It was the World Cup in Germany in 1974.

This adventure began when Haiti became victorious in the 1973 CONCACAF Championship.

"CONCACAF" stands for "the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football."

In order to make it to the world cup in 1973, Haiti had to beat five other countries and win the only world cup ticket available for the Central and South American countries.

Yeap!... We beat...

  • Mexico,
  • Honduras,
  • Guatemala,
  • Dutch Antilles (Antilles Neerlandaises)
  • Trinidad

Haiti had to fight a terrible battle...

From the beginning, we knew we had to win a seat that Mexico was strongly hoping for.

Haiti had to mobilize all if its thin resources to stand for this great National challenge:

  • Financial resources
  • Humanitarian resources
  • Logistic resources
  • Infrastructural resources
  • Sportive resources

We took the challenge and we won...

I never witnesses the battle of Vertierre, in other words, I never saw our great fight for independence in 1804.

But on the other hand, I lived and witnessed the adventures of Haiti in the fight for Munich, Germany 1974.

This national battle couldn't be any different than the one fought in 1803 in all sense of the word.

The Haitian cry of war for 1973...
"Haiti MUST go to Munich"

And she did...

After four (4) consecutive victories and winning 8 points out of 8, Haiti was very happy to witness the embarrassing defeat of her last adversary (Mexico).

Mexico stood in the path of destiny...

Fortunately for us, Trinidad opened a can of 'whoop ass' on Mexico and beat her FOUR to ZERO.

Because of that, Haiti was already qualified before she even confronted Mexico.

Is it fate is just a coincidence?
In 2006, the World Cup will be held in GERMANY once again.

In remembrance of this historical era,

In the eve of the campaign of the Haitian National Soccer league for a second world cup participation destined for the SAME LOCATION - GERMANY 2006,

I wish with all my heart, both patriotically and in a merry sportive manner, that those responsible and those participating prove themselves in the same spirit of sacrifice and patriotism.

I wish with all my heart that the leaders, players, trainers, and supporters go beyond themselves and in a spirit even greater then the "TOUP POU YO" team of 1973, only thirty years ago.

In the name of all my teammates, I would like to thank everyone, close or afar, for the all the support they gave to the team "TOUP POU YO" of which I was a proud member.

Grenadiers A L'Assaut,

Emmanuel "Manno" Sanon
Haitian Athlete of the 20th Century

English translation (c) by: Woodring Saint Preux
with the assistance of Dr. Perrette Saint Preux

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Football Fan says...

Can you comment on the four goals score by Trinidad and Tobago against Haiti that were

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