Belize national team held at gunpoint in Haiti
The Belize national soccer team was briefly held at gunpoint Monday after arriving in Haiti to qualify for the World Cup.
The team, which had a police escort of four, was sitting on a bus driving from the airport to their hotel when it was stopped by armed men on motorcycles. A video of the incident from the team bus made the rounds on social media.
When Belize arrived in Haiti for their World Cup qualification, their police escort was stopped by armed “insurgents”.
This is the video that’s running on social media.
The game is scheduled for March 25th. Belize has made an official statement. pic.twitter.com/B3Z0gTfW16
– Nico Cantor (@ Nicocantor1) March 23, 2021
The team’s police escort was able to negotiate with the armed men and the bus was finally allowed to continue.
Haiti has been in a state of emergency since March 18 and is currently in intense political and economic turmoil, ahead of several elections in the coming months, including a constitutional referendum.
The Belize Association condemns the incident
The Belize Football Association (FFB) released a statement on Monday condemning the incident, saying the team was shaken but unharmed.
The Belize Federation issued a statement after the national team encountered an “unfortunate incident” upon arriving in Haiti for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier. pic.twitter.com/LkGlSDSngT
– Jon Arnold (@ArnoldcommaJon) March 22, 2021
“The Belize Football Association is taking this time to express its disappointment and disgust at an unfortunate incident the Jaguars faced while driving the team from the airport to the hotel in Haiti this morning,” the FFB said in the statement.
“We are taking this opportunity to thank the Jaguars for their bravery and to inform their families that the safety of our team is our top priority. We are currently in contact with the respective authorities of FIFA and Concacaf and are doing everything we can to help.” to put them on safer grounds. It is unfortunate that our jaguars have had such a traumatic experience. “
A message from Co-Captain Deon McCauley was also included in the statement.
“I’m glad that everyone is safe and I recommend that you be brave. It was a moment of intense fear. Let’s keep sticking together and please make the best decisions when it comes to the team.”
Belize is expected to play its first World Cup qualifier against Haiti in Port-Au-Prince on Thursday.
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