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Haiti - Barranquilla 2018 : Visa case, the FHF accuses the Haitian Olympic Committee
"The Haitian Football Federation regrets to inform you that [...] its women's national team will not be able to play the Women's Games Tournament. It is a terrible disappointment for us [...] and it is the death in the soul that the players returned to Haiti seeing no way out in the steps multiplied during this week.
Friday being our first match and knowing that the team of just 14 girls can not compete in a high level tournament at the risk of compromising the credibility of the national team and the reputation of football in Haiti, we inform you of the inability of the women's team to play in the 5-match tournament with no hope of recovering the girls remaining in the country for problems of authorization to enter the organizing country.
This does not question the presence of U-23 men who finally this morning was able to gather a limited effective to be able to play the competition [...]"
In addition, the FHF, after analyzing and investigating this visa case, accuses the Haitian Olympic Committee (COH) of being the only responsible for this deplorable situation.
Official explanations of the FHF :
"The participation of Haitian athletes in games, gives different but specific responsibilities to the National Federations and the National Olympic Committee (COH); in the case of Haiti, it is the COH that is in charge of all administrative procedures: the registration of athletes, visa applications, purchase of travel tickets, accommodation of delegations of each sport in which participates Haiti and for the games of Barranquilla 2018, this tradition is still applicable.
[...] it is true that the plans were not clearly communicated even if the Team Manager designated by the FHF was often present at meetings; finally it has been said for two months that the football teams competing on July 20 would travel on the 16 th or 3 days before; it remained to define the details of this displacement; sometimes it was said that it would be done by charter from Port-au-Prince; at other times it was a transit via Miami for the majority but there was never any question of visa problem, it's another thing that was advanced from the beginning, that the accreditation cards would be like a visa; it was not until Friday [before the departure in RD] that we were alerted to a visa problem that we did not take seriously at first, knowing that a country organizing the games can not refuse entry to an athlete unless there are serious anomalies.
The Haitian Football Federation was surprised by the decision of the Colombian authorities to refuse visas to athletes from the delegation of footballers included; thinking of a discriminatory attitude we immediately alerted the Concacaf who also alarmed, went up to the plate by contacting the Games Organizing Committee which assured that there was no problem of this nature and the Concacaf to promise to go further in the process as soon as their leaders arrive there.
[...] But on the spot it was notified to the Concacaf that the Haitians had started their steps for FREE VISAS just last week and still shyly by submitting by no means the papers internationally required in the case of travel of minors [...] this story of minors was raised when the young people were already in the Dominican Republic, which proves that the approach was produced very late. Nevertheless, the FHF quickly sent the requested certificates already in the archives in the FHF the same day that the request was made in Barranquilla; to point out that most athletes U15, U17 and even some U20 are minor which means that the FHF knows the procedures to apply; besides 14 girls minors are present in France [...]
COH organizers bear full responsibility
The COH can not get rid of the failure of a file that it has had exclusive management and football is entitled to wonder why it is his athletes who are still in trouble ? Is this a calculated choice of the COH to weaken the football teams as it happens every time that Haiti participates in regional games ?
In the wake, the COH authorities moved to Colombia leaving 14 people from football (3 players, 7 players, 2 coaches, two leaders) in difficulty in Punta Cana.
So we can easily conclude that the Haitian Olympic Committee does not want to cohabit with football and does its best to belittle it !"
See also :
BF/ HL/ HaitiLibre