Haiti aware of its role

Date Published: 
Jamaica Gleaner


"Haiti is taking seriously its role as North-Central America and the Caribbean's representative in the next World Cup Soccer championship to be played in West Germany in 1974, because we would like to come up from this tournament in the best place," said Antoine Tassy, coach of the Haitian national team.

As newcomer in the World Cup, he said: "we have an enormous responsibility to keep high the hopes of millions of people of this part of the American continent, mainly of the Caribbean area who will be watching us . . ."

Haiti has taken the berth in the final round of 16 nations that the Mexican national team has been filling up since the World Cup Championship started in 1930.

The Haitian squad began its World Cup preparations two years ago under the national coach Tassy. In the first elimination Match on April 1972, Haiti defeated Puerto Rico 7-0 and they won the second game in Puerto Rico in September, 5-0 to go into the final eliminatory round, together with Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, The Netherlands Antilles and Trinidad & Tobago, winners in the other five groups.

The Haitian team was in excellent shape, physically strong, with good spirit and went through this final eliminatory round undefeated until the closing match of the tournament, when the Mexicans made them bite the dust with a 1-0 victory.

However, the Haitians with a total of eight points, won the right to make the trip to West Germany in June of 1974. Mexico took the third place, after Trinidad & Tobago, with six points.

The Haitian soccer selection won four of the five games of the pre-World Cup tournament. They defeated Netherland Antilles 3-0, Trinidad & Tobago 2-1, Honduras 1-0 and Guatemala 2-1.