Posted: Monday, March 22, 2021. 10:22 pm CST.
By Rubén Morales Iglesias: Shadow Minister of Sports Shyne Barrow says he is “extremely concerned about the safety of our National Football Team in Haiti” and says he has asked Minister of Foreign Affairs Eamon Courtenay to approach the Haitian Foreign Minister and ask that our BMNT is given adequate security.
Barrow’s concern comes after armed Haitian motorcyclists blocked the BMNT team bus on their way from the Port au Prince international airport to the hotel the team would be staying during their visit to Haiti where they should be playing against that country’s national team on Thursday as the World Cup qualifiers get underway. The bus was later allowed the proceed but reportedly through a different route.
The FFB said they are in communication with FIFA and Concacaf and plan to get the team to “safer grounds.” National coach Dale Pelayo said the team was traumatized and a number of players had said they wanted to leave.
After the Haiti game, Belize has another game on Tuesday in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
The political climate in Haiti is said to be very violent. Police are also said to be having a lot of problems with criminal gangs and a group of what are termed as rebel police today staged a jailbreak to free four policemen who had been imprisoned. It is not known if the Belize Men’s National Team was passing through the same area.
In a social media post made earlier today, Barrow’s said: “As the Shadow Minister of Sports I am extremely concerned about the safety of our National Football Team in Haiti. After the incident transpired today with 50 armed Haitian men stopping the bus transporting our players I wrote to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Eamon Courtenay, to register my grave concern for the safety of our National Football Team. I asked that the Minister of Foreign Affairs contact his counter part in Port-au-Prince to ensure adequate security is provided for our players until they depart to Belize.”
In concluding, Barrow reiterated “I am sure the Administration like the Opposition and all Belizeans prays this matter concludes with our National Team’s safe return home.”
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