News Americas, PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Fri. March 26, 2021: Belize’s football squad lost to Haiti yesterday in their match in the FIFA World Cup qualifier in Port-Au-Prince.
The Belize Jaguars went down 0-2 to Haiti just days after their scary ordeal with Haitian gunmen.
Both of Haiti’s goals were scored by defenders and came from corner kicks. Ricardo Ade scored the opener within five minutes of the restart when he found space in the penalty area and headed in from just over six yards. The second came with ten minutes left and was far scrappier.
Belize failed to deal with the delivery and Steven Seance scrambled the ball over the line to ensure the Haitians began Group E with three points.
A FIFA security expert had arrived in Haiti Tuesday morning and toured the capital to evaluate the security situation after Belize’s team bus was held up at gunpoint on Monday. But the match went ahead Thursday.
The incident had happened as the team made its way from the Toussaint Louverture international airport to their hotel. The athletes, who were not harmed in the incident, described the harrowing scene during an interview with a Belize television station. They said high-powered rifles were aimed at their bus.
“Suddenly, we saw so many motorcycles with a lot of men and they were armed. You know, they stopped the bus and all we see, they were talking to the police. After that, we wanted to know what was happening. The next, they wanted us to turn back, pointing their guns at the police. So we don’t know what to do,” recalled Ian “Yellow” Gaynair, who plays defense for the Belize national team.
“Some of us were doing some video and they pointed on the bus and said cut out the video, so we had to cut the video, pull the curtain,” Gaynair said. “All of us were really traumatized, fearing we didn’t know what would happen. Next thing we thought they would even want to come on the bus.”
The armed men on motorbikes were members of a renegade group called Fantom 509, comprising disgruntled current and former police officers. The U.S. State Department described them as criminals on Twitter.
The Jaguars now fly to the Dominican Republic today for the second game on Tuesday, March 30 against Turks and Caicos Islands at the Estadio Panamericano in Santo Domingo at 3:00 p.m. EST