***I DON’T HAVE FIFA’S PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT TO USE, TALK, THINK OR EVEN YELL AT RANDOS FROM MY BALCONY ABOUT ANY NAMES, COUNTRIES OR EVENTS MENTIONED IN MY FIFA WORLD CUP QATAR 2022 COVERAGE, SO FOR COPYRIGHT REASONS FROM HERE ON IN, THE EVENT WILL BE REFERRED TO AS QLAMQTAR 2022.***
The Qlamqtar 2022 World Cup is only about 4 moons away (depending on your own set of lunar circumstances) and the first ever World Cup held in the Arab world promises to be a real doozy. World Cup history is a tale resplendent with stories of triumph against the odds, childhood dreams coming true and unsung heroes becoming legends. As well as dumb idiot losers, wanker fuck ups and teams that are just total bullshit.
But how shall ye learn about these legends, losers and teams that are just total bullshit? Well look no further my wayward friend as I profile all 211 FIFA nations eligible for World Cup qualification. Today, I take a look at Haiti, which has qualified for the World Cup once, in 1974.
This own goal
Nickname: Les Grenadiers (The Grenadiers)
FIFA Ranking: 87 (June 2022)
FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualification result: Eliminated in second round playoffs (CONCACAF), losing 4-0 to Canada on aggregate
Haiti are one of only eleven CONCACAF nations (and one of only two from the Caribbean) to have qualified for the World Cup and one of only eight to have won the CONCACAF Gold Cup/CONCACAF Championship. But despite these remarkable achievements, this own goal. Seriously, this own goal.
Living in an embattled nation in a constant struggle with poverty and under the threat of natural disasters, Haiti’s people maintain a love for the game and a belief that the glory days of the 1970s may one day return. But then shit like this own goal happens in the second round of 2022 World Cup qualifying against Canada when the team’s only down a goal on aggregate and you’ve gotta just think to yourself Seriously what’s the point?
In the period from 1969-1977, Haiti fell just one win short of qualifying to the 1970 World Cup, finished runners-up in the 1971 CONCACAF Championship, won it on home soil two years later, reached their first ever World Cup in 1974 and then finished runners up in the CONCACAF Championship again in 1977. More recently, the side has reestablished itself as a force in CONCACAF, reaching at least the quarter finals of the Gold Cup four times in the last 20 years, including a semi-final finish in the 2019 edition. These are stunning accomplishments for a beleaguered nation such as Haiti, but shit, I mean, this own goal. This own goal…
One to watch: Cockfighting
If there’s one thing Haitians love more than soccer, it’s cockfighting. A fixture of Haitian culture, locals use it as a distraction from their problems, and fights are always well attended, no matter the calamitous scale of events going on outside the cockpit (the term used for where the fights take place). And while soccer and cockfighting battle for the sole attention of local sports fans, the similarities between the two are greater than one might imagine. The Haitian national soccer team even frequently employs the customary cockfighting tactic of ‘Step one way, step the other way, wait, keep your eyes as bulgy as fuck, puff your chest and wings out, stand tall, shuffle your feet, shuffle your feet, shuffle your feet, then wait, wait, waittttt… NOW STRIKE! PECK, PECK, PECK AND NOW FLOG YOUR OPPONENT AND NOW THEN JUMP AT THEM, ENGAGE YOUR LEG SPURS AND STRIKE STRIKE STRIKE’ in their official international matches.
The rules are simple: the bout goes for 30 minutes (but most of the time less), the roosters try to kill each other, and if one flees or collapses, the other wins. Then, if possible, the unofficial on-site vet attends to the fucked up birds so they can be taken home and back for another bout asap. BOOM. What more do you want? I mean, sure it’s not bullfighting or dogfighting, but cockfighting in Haiti is still not without its charm.
Just check out some of the hot action from the cockfighting in Haiti. Wow!!
Here’s the highlights from an unforgettable fight held at this joint in the middle of nowhere… INCREDIBLE!!
And finally, here’s probably the MOST SENSATIONAL COCKFIGHTING ACTION YET, from some video I found when I looked up ‘Cockfighting Haiti’ on Youtube:
The Highpoint: The 1974 World Cup
Becoming the first ever Caribbean nation to qualify for the World Cup (Cuba had participated in 1938 as invitees), Haiti-the country and the team-were unknown to most of the world as they headed to the 1974 World Cup in West Germany. But after a stunning performance in their opening match, where they took the lead against Italy (breaking goalkeeper Dino Zoff’s 12-match streak without a goal conceded), worldwide audiences soon learned exactly who the team full of amateurs was and what Haiti was (not where though, since it’s not like every household around the world had their own atlas or globe at the time).
With typical Haitian bad luck though, not only were they were grouped at the World Cup with 1970 finalists Italy, but also emerging powerhouse Argentina and eventual 3rd-place winners Poland. They lost all three matches comprehensively in the end, but if nothing else, for the first time ever people around the world learned that ‘Haiti = exists.’
Learn the lingo & speak like a local!
CONCACAF NATIONS LEAGUE & CONCACAF GOLD CUP QUALIFYING 2023
24 March 2023
MONTSERRAT 🇲🇸 x 🇭🇹 HAITI
27 March 2023
HAITI 🇭🇹 x 🇧🇲 BERMUDA