FIFA and CONCACAF officials expressed their support and solidarity to the Fédération Haïtienne de Football (FHF) and the local football community, as the country continues recovering from the impact of Hurricane Matthew.
During the two-day visit, which began on Tuesday 1 November, FIFA’s Director of Member Associations Veron Mosengo-Omba and CONCACAF General Secretary Philippe Moggio met with various federation and club officials, while visiting the most affected areas of the country.
"On instruction of the FIFA president, I came to Haiti with the CONCACAF delegation to express our solidarity to the football family of Haiti and also to assess the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew in order to see how FIFA could assist," Mosengo-Omba said. "Haiti is a country of football, even in the south of the country where the hurricane caused the most damage. The leaders of the regional clubs concerned, together with Haiti Football Association President Yves Jean-Bart, are determined to restore football as soon as possible. FIFA will be contributing on an exceptional basis. Within the football family, FIFA considers it our duty to show solidarity towards Member Associations facing difficult situations."
Speaking about the trip to the Haiti, Moggio stated: “CONCACAF cares deeply about the communities affected by the storm and despite the adverse circumstances, during this visit to Haiti, we found tremendous passion for football and witnessed the unifying power of sport. We commend the FHF on its continued effort to develop the game, while bringing hope through it to the communities that have been impacted.”
FHF President Yves Jean-Bart expressed his optimism about the hurricane recovery efforts.
"After nearly a month of darkness, desolation and doubt, the sun is rising again for the football family, especially in the south, with a historic solidarity visit of a high-ranking delegation to Haiti. We are moved by the words of courage from FIFA and CONCACAF officials, who travelled to the remote areas of the country, and met instructors, coaches, referees, and fans.”
FIFA and CONCACAF will continue working closely with the FHF towards the development of football in the country.
On Friday 28 October, prior to the officials' visit, CONCACAF staff members visited Haiti in order to meet with the FHF and club representatives to inspire the local community through a grassroots festival.
The festival was held on Sunday 30 October in the western city of Les Cayes, which was severely damaged by Hurricane Matthew. Over 250 enthusiastic children in the 10-12 year-old age group, had the opportunity to play football, while receiving coaching guidelines from instructors, who obtained their D Licenses on Saturday 29 October.
The training coached 35 instructors, emphasising the physical, mental, technical and tactical aspects of working with young athletes.