(ATR) All sporting competitions in Haiti have been postponed due the political situation in the country.
Haiti has been experiencing a wave of anti-government protests (Getty Images)This sad reality was confirmed to Around the Rings on Thursday by the Secretary General of the Haitian Olympic Committee, Alain Jean Pierre.
Since Feb. 7, Haiti has been experiencing a wave of protests against the government.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) warned of the “worsening situation of violence and shortages” in Haiti, where at least 26 people have died in recent weeks.
These regrettable events occur at a time when the Caribbean nation continues to suffer the effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake.
According to the newspaper Le Nouvelliste it will be “a difficult task” for the Haitian Olympic Committee (HOC) to plan and lead the participation in the Pan American and Parapan American Games that will offer Olympic qualification in more than 20 disciplines.
“If the HOC intends to tap into the IOC (International Olympic Committee) grant fund to meet the expenses, what can be said about the Haitian State via the Ministry of Sports, which must make its financial contribution,” comments the newspaper.
“The participation of Haiti for the next Pan American and Parapan American Games in Lima will not be jeopardized,” says Pierre, who is a member of the Executive Committee of Panam Sports and president of the Central American and Caribbean Athletics Confederation.
Pierre is not considering a call for help to ensure that Haitian athletes are present in Lima within five months.
“We do not need international assistance and will not request it from any of the organizations we are affiliated with,” he tells ATR.
Due to the internal situation, a Caribbean cycling championship could be scrapped.
The President of the International Cycling Union (UCI), David Lappartient, reiterated his federation’s support in a telephone interview with the President of the Haitian Cycling Federation. But if the situation persists, Haiti will lose the chance of organizing the Caribbean Road Championship this October.
The most immediate and most worrying competition at risk is a crucial match on March 24 between Haiti and Cuba in the new League of Nations designed by the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF). Football is the national sport of Haiti.
Moving the match to another country has not been ruled out but there has been no decision. ATR has learned that two special envoys of CONCACAF are in Puerto Principe today to examine the conditions of the Sylvio Cator Stadium but above all the existing state of mind and the political climate in Haiti.
“The Haitian Football Federation and CONCACAF must have a daily assessment to evaluate the situation and take a final decision,“ Pierre says.
“If the political situation does not improve, it will be very difficult to have any international competition,” he admits.